Posted on: 11 January 2021

Changes or new laws that are coming in 2021

The UK will be experiencing some of the biggest legal changes in its history by leaving the EU, and COVID-19 has brought huge changes to the way we live our lives, but here are some of the new laws coming in 2021 that you should know about.

Take a look at these 4 new laws coming in 2021:

The new laws coming in 2021

1. End of the Brexit transition period

We have previously produced an article about the changes that are coming now that the UK has finally left the European Union.

Big changes include the new rules about driving in the EU, the ending of freedom of movement and immigration rules.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), that offers UK citizens state-provided medical insurance in EU countries, will also no longer be valid for the majority of UK citizens.

Take a look at our guide on how to prepare your business for post-Brexit trade to see how these changes could potentially affect the way that you run your business.

2. COVID-19 restrictions

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, there has been several updates on legislation that have been used in a way to try and suppress the levels of COVID-19 in the UK.

This has included the initial lockdown rules which were to stay at home, the subsequent alert levels and finally the new tier system, which changed from three tiers to 4 tiers in October 2020. The government also introduced a third lockdown in January 2021, with similar rules to the lockdown in March 2020, which were stricter than the circuit breaker lockdown in November 2020.

Even though there are several vaccines currently available, you should continue to stay up to date on the COVID-19 regulations that may affect you or your business going forward from January 2021. We will try to cover COVID-19 developments which may affect your business on our Coronavirus information page.

3. Driving in the UK laws

Currently, drivers in the UK can be penalised for using their mobile phones to call or text whilst driving, however, they may still be able to legally take photos, play games or use music apps, as these are not classed as “interactive communication”. A change to legislation will close this loophole by penalising drivers for using a mobile phone for any reason whilst driving. The change is predicted to be introduced in Spring 2021.

4. Changes to copyright law

The biggest change to copyright laws in the last 20 years will be introduced in 2021 in an attempt to level the playing field between small artists, musicians or publishers and the big internet platforms such as Google and YouTube.

The change will mean that the likes of Google and YouTube will have to obtain licences from copyright holders to be able to use their material on their platforms. Any content which is designed as a caricature, parody or pastiche of already existing material in the public domain will be exempt from this law, which could include internet memes or GIFs.

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