The 329-page Bill became law on March 25 after passing through Parliament in just three days. The Bill will last for two years but as expected the Government agreed that Parliament should debate and vote on the act every six months.
The purpose is to enable the Government to implement new measures into law to respond to an emergency situation and manage the effects of a covid-19 pandemic.
The Act has three main objectives; to give further powers to the Government to slow the spread of the virus; to reduce the resourcing and administrative burden on public bodies, and to limit the impact of potential staffing shortages on the delivery of public services.
Main provisions of the ACT
Employers can reclaim statutory sick pay funds from HMRC to help with the burden of increased staff absence.
Also included for workers, is the scrapping of the three-day waiting period so that they can receive the payments from the day they stop working.
- Increased police powers during the covid-19 crisis
- Draft legislation allowing for £1,000 fines for refusing to take a covid-19 test and detention
- Officials will have the power to close the borders in the event that the Border Force is under intense pressure due to staffing shortages
- Easing the burden on frontline staff
- Increasing the available health and social care workforce
- More on containing and slowing the virus
- You can access the latest available legislation for the Coronavirus ACT 2020 by clicking here.