Six new laws are coming into place in England in September 2020 – including furlough changes and new rules for home improvements.
Due to the pandemic, new legislation was pushed through this year during Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘mini budget’.
Mr Sunak has laid out all the changes coming to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which ends in October.
But there are also new laws that homeowners need to be aware of from this month.
The new rules mean that full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes, and commercial and retail properties can be quickly repurposed to help revive our high streets and town centres.
Homeowners will be able to add up to two additional storeys to their home to create new homes or more living space for growing families through a fast track approval process.
This includes a requirement to carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.
Mr Jenrick said: “We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our town centres with new enterprises and more housing.
“These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high quality homes at the heart of their communities. It will mean that families can add up to 2 storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.”
Green home grants
From September, homeowners will be able to apply for a Government grant to make their homes more energy efficient.
The grant will aim to cover at least two thirds of the cost of improvement, up to £5,000 per household, but some low income households will be able to get the entire cost covered, up to £10,000.
You need to also be installing insulation or low carbon heating at the same time to be eligible, however, and the vouchers can not be used to replace what is already in the property.
You can capitalise and get improvements on everything from double or triple glazing to energy efficient heating controls, and even insulation.
Announcing the scheme in the Commons, Mr Sunak said: “From September, homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for vouchers to make their homes more energy efficient and create local jobs.”
Furlough scheme changes
The furlough scheme is also facing some major changes from September, with the scheme eventually coming to an end in October.
From August 1 employers had to start picking up pay national insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed workers.
From September, the Government will pay 70 per cent of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough.
Employers will pay national insurance and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80 per cent of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
In the final month of the scheme in October, the Government will pay 60 per cent of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.
Employers will pay national insurance and pension and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80 per cent of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
Extension on evictions
A four-week extension of the eviction ban has been confirmed, after the Government was warned that hundreds of thousands of renters could lose their homes.
Renters have been protected during the coronavirus crisis by a ban announced in March and extended in June, but it was due to end in England and Wales next week.
If lifted without extra protection, charities have warned that tens of thousands of outgoing tenants could be unable to access affordable homes, prompting a “devastating homelessness crisis”.
The move was confirmed in a letter to judges by Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton after a meeting of the civil procedure rule committee (CPRC), which makes rules for county courts.
He said the extension would last until September 20.
Face mask guidance for children
Further guidance on face coverings in England’s schools has been published by the Government, which sets out when they are required and pupils that are exempt.
In local lockdown areas, face coverings should be worn by staff and students moving around schools in communal areas and corridors from September 1.
Should new local restrictions be imposed, schools will need to communicate “quickly and clearly” the new arrangements to staff, parents and pupils.
All schools and colleges will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed – such as when the layout of a school makes it difficult to do so.
Where a student or staff member is struggling to access a mask, or if it soiled or unsafe, the guidance says that schools should take steps to have a “small contingency supply” available, adding no-one should excluded on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering.
Exemptions to the new measures include those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if a person is speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.
Eat Out to Help Out ends
The Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which sees the cost of eat-in meals reduced three days a week, is ending from September 1.
The Government announced the scheme, in which diners’ meals are slashed to half price up to the value of £10 per head during August, to help the hard-hit hospitality industry cope with the coronavirus crisis.