Law changes 2022: All the new Highway Code and business laws set to come into force this year

MANY new driving and business laws are set to come into effect this year.

Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 2:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 1:39 pm

Alongside New Year’s Resolutions, there will be many new rules that will be introduced this year which include adaptations to the Highway Code and new regulations for businesses.

It is important to not be caught off-guard when the rules come into play in the near future so we have put together everything you need to know ahead of the new law changes.

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There will be many changes to the Highway Code that will come into effect in 2022.

Here is everything you need to know:

Changes to the Highway Code

Cyclists, pedestrians, and horse riders could have more protection on the roads due to changes in the Highway Code.

These changes will need to be approved by the government on January 28 before they come into law on January 29.

Under the changes, motorists will have to be more considerate on the roads as they are advised of the new 'hierarchy of road users’ with the most likely to be injured at the top of the lists.

The hierarchy includes pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, and horse riders- with older adults, children, and disabled people being more at risk when being overtaken by a vehicle.

The changes to the code will ban motorists from the following actions:

- Drivers cannot turn at a junction if this would cause the cyclist or horse-rider to swerve or stop

- Motorists must not do anything that can cause a collision with a cyclist

- Cutting across horse-riders, cyclists, or horse-drawn vehicles at junctions

Drivers will need to give cyclists, pedestrians, and horse riders as much room as a car when overtaking, which is 1.5 meters for cyclists and two meters for horses.

They will also need to drive under 10mph when passing horses and under 30mph when overtaking cyclists.

Motorists will need to give room to a pedestrian who is walking in the road where there is no pavement, with a berth of two meters and low speed when passing.

Changes for businesses

Harold Duckworth & Co, an accountancy firm, has made a list of the law changes that will affect businesses this year, with some already in motion.

These include:

- From January 4, the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (NS&I Act) will require businesses who seek to buy other UK companies to notify their intentions. The notice will allow the UK government to review other deals on national security grounds.

- From April 1 (the new 2022 financial year), all UK businesses will be liable to pay corporation tax which will be at the main rate of 19% for non-ring fence profits that exceed £250,000. This will then increase to 25% in 2023. A small profits rate is set to be introduced for businesses with profits of £50,000 or less, which means they will continue to pay 19% Corporation Tax.

- National living wage is likely to increase to £9.42 in April, which is currently £8.91 for those over the age of 23

- Rates for Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay, Shared Parental Pay, Maternity Allowance, Statutory Sick Pay, and Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay will also be subject to change.

- From April, all UK importers, manufacturers, business customers of manufacturers, and importers who buy plastic goods or packaging in the UK will need to pay tax on the packaging that does not contain at least 30% of recycled plastic. The rate of Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) will be set at £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging.

- Businesses also have to pre-notify imports to Britain of some animal products, plants, plant products, and food from the EU.

The new rule, which came into effect on January 1 states that authorities now have to be notified when goods are entering Great Britain.

The changes to imports should have been made before January 1 as those who import goods into Great Britain had to register for the relevant IT system for animal or plant products.

What goods are included in the import changes?

Most products of animal origin, animal by-products, high-risk feed or food that is not of animal origin, regulated plants, and plant products will require notification from businesses before they enter Great Britain from the EU.

If you wish to import plants for your business, you will need to pre-notify authorities.

Business owners will also need to inform authorities where the goods came from, as Rules of Origin is a key element within the new trading rules.

The new deal with the EU is under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which determines the country of origin of goods traded between them.

Business owners will need to prove that the goods they are importing or exporting meet the new rules of origin to use preferential tariffs.

This will include where the goods have been grown, manufactured, or produced but this is not necessarily the same country as the one where the goods were purchased from.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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