Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill
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.
The Bill was passed on 28 June 2022 and became an Act on 10 August 2022
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
The lead committee for this Bill is the COVID-19 Recovery 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
Committee correspondence sent and received while the Bill progressed through Parliament
Police Scotland's Response Coronavirus Recovery Bill Response to the Criminal Justice Committee’s Stage 1 of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill
Letter from the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery to the Convener, Criminal, 9 May 2022
Follow up to an evidence session on the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill
Work by other committees
Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee
Criminal Justice Committee
Meeting on 9 February 2022
Evidence session on 23 February 2022 (Official Report)
Evidence session on 2 March 2022 (Official Report)
Evidence session on 9 March 2022 (Official Report)
Meeting on 16 March 2022
Meeting on 23 March 2022
Meeting on 30 March 2022
Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee
Education, Children and Young People Committee
Finance and Public Administration Committee
The lead committee published its report on 22 April 2022.
The Committee received the following responses to its report –
MSPs debate the purpose (“general principles”) of the Bill.
12 May 2022
MSPs vote on the general principles of the Bill.
12 May 2022
- Submitted by: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party.
- Date lodged: Monday, 09 May 2022
- Motion reference: S6M-04310
- Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Thursday, 12 May 2022
Result 65 for, 53 against, 0 abstained, 11 did not vote Vote Passed