Forty Eighth Report Contents

Instruments relating to COVID-19

Changes to business practice and regulation

Employment Rights Act 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) (Amendment) Regulations 2021(SI 2020/177)

21.This instrument extends until 30 April 2021 the effects of two earlier instruments, so that the period during which various statutory entitlements based on a week’s pay and connected with termination of employment are not reduced as a result of an employee being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Without this instrument, the protection would end on 31 March 2021. This is the second extension11 and reflects the extension of the CJRS by HM Treasury until 30 April 2021 (as of 23 February 2021). The entitlements that are protected include redundancy pay and compensation for unfair dismissal. The instrument also extends the effect of the earlier instruments regarding how a week’s pay is to be calculated for the purpose of deciding whether an employee is taken to be on short-time for statutory purposes.

Airports Slot Allocation (Alleviation of Usage Requirements) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/185)

22.An airport ‘slot’ is a permission to use all necessary airport infrastructure to operate an aircraft at a specified date and time for take-off or landing, and is a valuable commercial asset to an airline. Slot administration normally operates a “use-it-or-lose-it” rule, which gives an airline that has used its slots at least 80% of the time in the winter or summer season an entitlement to the same slots in the upcoming equivalent season. Due to the pandemic passenger numbers have declined and so a previous instrument waived the 80% usage requirement until 27 March 2021.12 As conditions have not yet improved this instrument further suspends the rule for the Summer 2021 season, and these Regulations will expire on 30 October 2021.

Public Services

Health and Care Professions Council (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules Order of Council 2021 (SI 2021/167)

23.This instrument came into effect immediately before the Health and Care Professions Council (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules Order of Council 2021,13 laid on 14 January 2021, to correct an error. The original Order makes permanent changes to amend the procedural rules for the Health and Care Professions Council’s three Practice Committees, which conduct fitness to practise proceedings, and the procedural rules for its Appeal Panel, which hears appeals against registration decisions, to provide for the service of documents by electronic means. The original Order omitted provisions specifying the day on which a document being sent by email is treated as having been sent — which is a legal requirement. The current Order corrects that to state that “Any communications sent for the purposes of these Rules is to be treated as having been sent on the day the communication was posted or sent by electronic mail.”

Law and Order

Draft Representation of the People (Proxy Vote Applications) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021

24.These Regulations temporarily extend the proxy vote provisions so that those who have, or may have, coronavirus (for example, are experiencing symptoms) close to polling day would be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote without producing a positive test result and without their application having to be attested by a medical professional. Electors in the shielding category would also be eligible to vote by proxy under these provisions. Additionally, the Regulations provide the flexibility for a person who has a long-term proxy arrangement to appoint a new proxy if their original nominee is affected by COVID-19 and unable to attend the polling station. Applications for proxy votes or changes to them can be made up to 17:00 on polling day. This instrument will expire on 28 February 2022.

11 SI 2020/814, protected furloughed employees until 31 October 2020. Following the extension of the CJRS, this period was extended until 31 March 2021 by SI 2020/1296.

12 Draft Airports Slot Allocation (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021 (made as 2021/100).

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