The Scottish Government has published its programme for the final session of this parliament before next
year’s election. As this is a short session, and there is already significant legislation in progress, there is a
limited programme of new legislation. The new bills of most interest to UNISON members include:
- Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill. Creates a new statutory domestic abuse aggravator and a new
offence of sharing private intimate material. It will also enhance protections for victims of harassment.
- Budget Bill. The spending review will be truncated this year as the Scottish Government awaits the UK autumn statement.
- Burial and Cremation Bill. This will implement the Bonomy Commission recommendations on the cremation of infants and children with new regulation and inspection arrangements for crematoria, burial authorities and the funeral industry.
- Lobbying Bill. Aims to improve public awareness of lobbying activity and will introduce a register of lobbying activity.
- Private Tenancies Bill. Introduces a Scottish Private Rented Tenancy and removes the ‘no-fault’ ground for repossession, meaning a landlord can no longer ask a tenant to leave simply because the fixed-term has ended. There will be some protection for tenants against excessive rent increases, including the ability to introduce local rent controls for rent pressure areas.