9 new laws coming into force in 2020 - including state pension rates, Help to Buy and parental leave

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For many, the start of a new year is a chance for a fresh start which comes filled with a number of changes - and the law is no exception.

Several changes to legislation are set to come into force in 2020, which will affect pensions, worker’s rights and minimum wage, among others.

If you want to keep track of what’s coming up, here are nine of the major changes to UK law due to take place next year.

State pension boost

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Do you know what changes are in store for 2020?Do you know what changes are in store for 2020?
Do you know what changes are in store for 2020? | Other 3rd Party

Pensions are set for a boost in the new year: they are set to rise by 3.9%, which will see those receiving the old state pension receive a boost of £5.05 a week, taking the total to £134.25.

Help to buy changes - new Help to Buy scheme announced

The government has announced a new Help to Buy scheme which will replace the existing scheme, running from April 2021.

It is still reserved only to first-time buyers and will include regional property price caps, which is to ensure the scheme reaches people who need it most such as those battling to get onto the property ladder.

A new Help to Buy scheme will replace the existing one from April 2021A new Help to Buy scheme will replace the existing one from April 2021
A new Help to Buy scheme will replace the existing one from April 2021 | Other 3rd Party

The new scheme will run from April 2021 to March 2023. As with the current scheme, under the new scheme, the government will lend buyers up to 20 per cent of the cost of a home, and up to 40 per cent in London.

Agency workers' pay

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The government made a pledge back in December 2018 to close a legal loophole which covers the use of agency workers.

This allowed agencies to opt out of paying agency staff equally to full time staff. This is set to be closed on April 6, 2020 when the Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 come into force.

Tax on termination payments

Termination payments totalling more than £30,000 will become subject to employer National Insurance Contributions as of this year.

The change was due to come into effect in April 2018 but was delayed for two years.

Parental bereavement leave

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The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act 2018 is set to come into force in April this coming year and will give employed parents the right to two weeks off work, enshrined and fully protected in law, if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy onward.

Minimum wage rises

A new rate of £8.67 is expected to be introduced in April for those aged 25 and over, rising from the current £8.21 per hour.

The exact new hourly rates are due to be confirmed in the Budget.

Organ donation: Opt out system

From spring 2020, organ donation in England will move to an 'opt out' system - often referred to as 'Max and Keira's Law'.

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This means all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die - unless of course they have recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the designated excluded groups.

The law is being changed to help save more lives and ensure more organs are available to help those desperately in need and on waiting lists. Every day across the UK, someone dies waiting for a transplant.

The NHS is asking everyone to record your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Better protection for puppies and kittens sold from 'puppy farms'

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A new law is being introduced to better protect against so-called 'puppy farms', where animals are bred in poor conditions.

'Lucy's Law' will ban the sale of puppies and kittens from third party sellers, forcing buyers to deal directly with breeders or rehoming centres.

When it comes into force in April, the new legislation requires puppies and kittens in England to be born and raised in a safe environment, kept with their mum and only sold from their place of birth, cutting out unsavoury animal dealers.

Free NHS hospital parking

Thousands of NHS patients, staff and visitors will benefit from free hospital parking in England in 2020.

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Those eligible include blue badge holders, frequent outpatients who are required to attend regular appointments for long term conditions, and select groups of people, such as parents of sick children staying in hospital overnight and staff working night shifts.