With 2022 now upon us, there are a number of new laws set to come into effect.
Some of these are related to the Highway Code and aim to protect drivers while others include a shift towards more electric charging points for cars.
Other laws will also impact those who receive state pension, or how benefits are paid more generally.
It can be difficult to keep abreast of the latest changes, so thankfully we’ve made handy list of the latest changes.
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest laws set to come into play in 2022, Liverpool Echo reports.
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New buildings in England to have compulsory built-in EV chargers
All new properties built in England from 2022 onwards will need to have an EV charging point installed as standard.
The new legal requirement includes all new homes and non-residential buildings such as supermarkets and offices, as well as substantially renovated buildings with more than 10 parking spots.
Boris Johnson announced that the new legislation will help boost the number of EV chargers available to the public and further accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles, before the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars in 2030.
The new initiative is another part of the current government’s strategy to reduce emissions as part of a greater focus on green issues.
Stricter laws on using your mobile phone while driving
From 2022, laws will go further to ban drivers from using their mobile phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games, in addition to making a call or sending a text.
Texting or calling while driving is already illegal but even selecting a song can now land you with a £200 fine or six points.
This rule applies even if you’re stopped at a red light.
Drivers will still be able to continue using a device ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s secured in a cradle.
Introduction of new Clean Air Zones
Greater Manchester and Bradford will introduce their own Clean Air Zones in the new year.
From May 30, 2022, the Manchester Clean Air Zone will start.
A date is yet to be announced for the Bradford Clean Air Zone.
The Manchester Clean Air Zone will cover Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
Bradford too will start charging polluting vehicles entering its Clean Air Zone from 2022 onwards.
The Bradford Clean Air Zone will cover the Bradford outer ring road and extend out along the Aire valley corridor which comprises Manningham Lane/Bradford Road and Canal Road area and will include Shipley and Saltaire.
Rates of pay
This year in the Autumn Budget, Rishi Sunak announced that the National Living Wage will be increased from April 2022.This means that the wage will increase from £8.91 to £9.42, for those aged 23 and over.
Statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay, maternity allowance, and statutory parental bereavement pay and statutory sick pay are all subject to change as well.
The National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) will also go up.
Apprentices are entitled to a higher apprentice rate if they’re either aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.
Plastic Packaging Tax
From April next year, all UK manufacturers or importers will need to pay Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT)
That means manufacturers of plastic packaging, importers of plastic packaging, business customers of manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging, and consumers who buy plastic packaging or goods in plastic packaging will need to pay tax.
The tax will apply to any plastic packaging that doesn’t contain at least 30% recycled plastic.
The rate of PPT will be £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging.
Changes to the Highway Code
Changes to the Highway Code have been proposed to improve road safety for more vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, who are most likely to get injured in an accident.
The changes to driving laws are planned to come into effect from January 29, 2022.
The proposed changes include introducing a hierarchy of road users – known as Rule H1.
These Highway Code rule changes target:
- Cutting across cyclists, horse-riders or horse-drawn vehicles at junctions
- Turning at a junction, if doing so may cause a cyclist or horse-rider to stop or swerve
- Doing anything that would risk a collision with a cyclist
Drivers must also take care to:
- Give cyclists, horse-riders and pedestrians as much room as a car – 1.5 metres for cyclists and two metres for horses
- Drive under 10mph when going past horses and under 30mph when passing cyclists.
- Give at least two metres berth when passing pedestrian’s walking on the road, where there is no pavement and making sure that speed is also dropped to ‘low’
Mandatory speed limiters for all new cars
All new vehicles sold in Europe will be fitted with a mandatory speed limiter from 2022 to keep cars within the UK speed limits and boost road safety.
From July 6, 2022, all newly launched cars will legally have to be fitted with a speed limiter.
The Vehicle Certification Agency will continue with EU regulations even though we’re no longer part of the EU, so the speed limiting rules will likely apply to the UK.
However even if the rules weren’t put into place, it’s unlikely that EU-based vehicle manufacturers would make models with different specifications just to please our market.
Red diesel and rebated biofuels will become illegal for most vehicles
This measure will mostly affect businesses rather than individuals, and it restricts the lawful use of red diesel and rebated biofuels from April 1, 2022.
Red diesel is diesel used mainly off-road, such as for bulldozers and cranes, or to power drills for oil extraction.
The change is intended to promote the use of more sustainable fuels, as part of the UK’s 2050 climate targets.
Employment Support Allowance
Brits will have to wait longer before they can apply for Employment and Support (ESA) from March 24, 2022.
This is because a temporary cut to the number of days you have to wait before you can apply is coming to an end.
The government made it so those who are eligible for ESA could apply on the first day they were absent from work – instead of the usual eighth day because of the coronavirus pandemic.
ESA is worth up to £74.70 and is designed as support for people who are ill or disabled and cannot work.
Universal Credit and state pension payments
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will stop paying Universal Credit, the state pension or other benefits into Post Office card accounts from November 30, 2022.
You’ll need to set up a new bank account by this date, or you’ll be able to use the Payment Exception Service.
The Payment Exception service allows those who don’t have a bank account to access benefit payments via the PayPoint network.
You can withdraw your cash either by using a payment card, voucher by email, or text message containing a unique reference number.
Either of these methods must be presented at a PayPoint outlet, which are in shops and newsagents, in order to access your benefits.
If you don’t update the DWP with your new details by next November, you’ll automatically be moved onto the Payment Exception Service.
The Payment Exception Service isn’t available for those who get benefits from HMRC.
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