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Bills and Laws

Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill

Overview

The Bill is split into 6 Parts:

Part 1 creates new powers to respond to public health emergencies. The powers are similar to powers that Scottish Ministers already have on a temporary basis to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. For example, these powers have been used at times to impose “lockdown” restrictions. The new powers will apply to any future public health emergencies.

Part 2 also creates new powers to help Scottish Ministers respond to public health emergencies. In this Part the powers relate specifically to educational establishments such as schools, colleges and universities. They also relate to school boarding and student accommodation. As an example, this power could be used to restrict access to schools due to a public health emergency.

Part 3 makes changes to a number of services. The majority of these relate to communicating electronically. This includes provisions about holding virtual meetings and signing documents electronically. For example, registering births and deaths would no longer have to be done in person, though it still could be. Most of the changes that are now being made permanent are similar to provisions made in previous pieces of Coronavirus legislation.

Part 4 relates to eviction from properties in the private rented sector. Currently some circumstances result in tribunals having to grant an eviction. The Bill will change this. It proposes that, in relation to the tenancy types set out in the Bill, a tribunal will not have to automatically evict people. The tribunal will, however, still be able to grant an eviction if it considers it reasonable. Part 4 also sets up a “pre-action protocol”. This protocol is something landlords can follow before starting eviction proceedings. Whether landlords have or have not followed this protocol will be considered by a tribunal in deciding whether to order an eviction in cases where late or non-payment of rent is the reason why the landlord is seeking an eviction.

Part 5 (and the Bill’s schedule) continues some of the changes to the justice system brought in during the pandemic. These are currently set to expire on 31 March 2022, but that can be extended with Parliamentary approval to 30 September 2022. This Bill will continue these measures until November 2023. The Bill also grants Scottish Ministers the power to extend this, using regulations, to November 2024 and beyond to November 2025.

Part 6 sets out when the Bill would come into force and what its short title would be. It also gives a power to Scottish Ministers to make small changes to give effect to the Bill.

Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill as introduced

The Bill was passed on 28 June 2022 and became an Act on 10 August 2022


Contents


Stage 1 - General principles

Committees examine the Bill and gather views. They produce reports before MSPs debate the Bill in the Chamber. MSPs then decide on the purpose (“general principles”) of the Bill.

The Bill ended Stage 1 on 12 May 2022

Committee Examination

The lead committee for this Bill is the COVID-19 Recovery Committee

Find out more about this committee


The committee published its Stage 1 report on 22 April 2022.

The Stage 1 debate on the Bill took place on 12 May 2022.

Submit your views

The Call for Views closed on 18 March 2022

You could share your views in one of the following ways: 

  • completing a short survey on the general principles of the Bill 
  • sharing your views on specific provisions in the Bill

View the responses

Who spoke to the lead committee in the Parliament

MSPs met with people in committee meetings to discuss what the Bill will do.

Minutes of 3 March 2022
Minutes of 10 March 2022
Minutes of 24 March 2022
Minutes of 31 March 2022
Minutes of 21 April 2022 (private)

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Meeting on 3 March 2022
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Meeting on 10 March 2022
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Meeting of 24 March 2022
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Meeting on 31 March 2022
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Correspondence

The correspondence the Committee sent and received while the Bill progressed through Parliament.

Police Scotland's Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill Response

Police Scotland's Response Coronavirus Recovery Bill Response to the Criminal Justice Committee’s Stage 1 of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill

Scottish Government Response to Scrutiny Committee Reports on the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1

Letter from the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery to the Convener, Criminal, 9 May 2022

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Response to the Criminal Justice Committee

Follow up to an evidence session on the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill

Read all the correspondence received on this Bill

Committee report

The lead committee published its report on 22 April 2022.

Stage 1 Report on the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill

The Committee received the following responses to its report –

Letter from the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery

Debate

MSPs debate the purpose (“general principles”) of the Bill.

12 May 2022

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Vote

MSPs vote on the general principles of the Bill.

12 May 2022

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Motion ref. S6M-04310

Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill

Submitted by: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Monday, May 9, 2022

Supported by: George Adam, Humza Yousaf
Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Thursday, May 12, 2022

Result 65 for, 53 against, 0 abstained, 11 no vote Vote Passed

MSPs agreed that this Bill could continue