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New laws for 2022

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Grant Sanders is a Partner and the Practice Manager at Stephen Rimmer Solicitors and can be contacted on 01323 644222 or by email:

Did you know that there are a number of laws which are being brought in this year and which may affect you? Including changes to pay and benefits, driving and the highway code as well as "green" legislation designed to tackle climate change and reduce emissions.  We've summarised the top 10 law changes for 2022.

1. Changes to rates of pay

From April 2022 the national minimum or "living wage" will increase from £8.91 to £9.50 for  those aged 23 or 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 and 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. For full details on changes in rates of pay see: Minimum wage rates for 2022 - GOV.UK (

2. Changes to Employment Support Allowance

The temporary cut to the number of days you have to wait before you can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) , introduced because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is coming to an end. From the 24th March , those applying will have to wait until the 8th day of their absence to apply  for ESA, which is worth up to £74.70 and is designed as support for people who are ill, disabled, self-isolating and cannot work. For full details see:

3. Universal Credit and state pension payments

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will stop paying Universal Credit,  state pensions and other benefits into Post Office card accounts from November 30, 2022. This means that those receiving the benefit will need to set up a new bank account by this date, or register for 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.

 4.  New buildings in England must have built-in EV chargers

All new properties built in England from 2022 onwards will need to have an EV charging point installed as standard. This  new legal requirement also includes and non-residential buildings such as supermarkets and offices, as well as substantially renovated buildings with more than 10 parking spots. It's hoped that the new legislation, part of the government's focus on green issues will encourage the uptake of electric vehicles ahead of the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars in 2030.

5.  Introduction of new Clean Air Zones

Two new clean air zones will be introduced this year. From May 30, 2022, the Manchester Clean Air Zone will start and the Bradford Clean Air Zone will also start operating on 2022 (exact date to be announced). The zones mean that polluting vehicles will be charged when entering the zones, which cover an extensive geography across the two cities.

6. Plastic Packaging Tax

From April this year, all UK manufacturers or importers will need to pay Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) on plastic packaging that doesn't contain at least 30% recycled plastic. This means that 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 at the rate of £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging.

7. Stricter laws on using your mobile phone while driving

It feels like this should already have been law, but new legislation for 2022 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. This rule applies even if you're stopped at a red light. Penalties will include fines of £200 and 6 points on your license.

8. Changes to the Highway Code

Some changes to the Highway Code will come into effect from January 29th 2022 and are aimed to protect the road users deemed as most vulnerable, including cyclists, horseriders and pedestrians. New legislation outlines rules on:

  • 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
  • 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'

9. Mandatory speed limiters for all new cars

All new vehicles sold in Europe will be fitted with a mandatory speed limiter from the 6th July 2022 to keep cars within the UK speed limits and boost road safety. 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  apply to the UK.

10. 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.

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