A new consultation launched today seeks the public’s views on legislative reform to support Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.

This consultation offers a variety of suggestions, including whether beneficial temporary provisions under UK and Scottish coronavirus legislation that are due to expire in March 2022, should be retained.

Between now and 9 November, the public has 12 weeks to voice their opinions on the proposals.

These include:

  • The UK Coronavirus Act contains provisions that allow Scottish ministers to adopt measures via public safety regulations in response to any future threats to public health. These provisions are consistent with the powers that are in place in England and Wales.
  • A law change that will allow more health professionals, such as nurses, midwives, and paramedics, to administer vaccinations and immunisations.
  • Pre-eviction protocols for rent arrears in private rented housing are maintained. This ensures that tenants have all information about their rights and places more responsibility on landlords.
  • To help the victims, it is possible that the extended statutory time limits for criminal proceedings should be temporarily retained.Scottish Courts and Tribunals ServiceManage the Covid-19 pandemic backlog and ensure that cases are heard by providing more flexibility in programming court business
  • Remote registration of stillbirths and deaths can be done by phone or any other method, so you don’t have to visit a registration office in person. A new proposal also allows for live births to be registered.

People are also asked to suggest additional legislation or measures that would support Scotland’s recovery.

Deputy First Minister and Covid recovery SecretaryJohn SwinneyThe statement read: “This consultation focuses upon reviewing the legislative powers which have supported our response in Covid-19. We want to make sure we eliminate measures that are no longer necessary to fight the pandemic, while keeping those that have a demonstrable benefit for the people of Scotland.

“This is an opportunity for people to keep changes that were welcomed by those who don’t want the loss of transformations that were innovative, beneficial and increased access to services.

The pandemic was extremely disruptive but it has forced public services to adapt and continue to deliver. This has driven the pace of digital adoption and, in some cases, more efficient ways of working. We now have an opportunity to reimagine the way health, social care, education, and justice services are designed and delivered in order to meet the needs of those who use them.

“I invite all to share their views on the future to ensure a fair, secure and sustainable recovery. These proposals will be subject to your input and will guide any future legislation that is brought forward on the topics.

“We will continue to report to Parliament every 2 months about the temporary powers used, and we are committed to ending or suspending all existing provisions that no longer need to be.