Four UK laws coming into force in September you need to know about

You can’t see them, but laws are all around us. Here are the main ones that are going to be taking effect in the UK in September and shaping how our society functions, or is at least supposed to function.

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Failure to prevent tax evasion

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Tax evasion is bad and already illegal. The new law, introduced under the Criminal Finances Act 2017, will make businesses liable for criminal acts committed by their employees who encourage or assist tax evasion by other individuals, such as their customers or suppliers.

Finance website Accountancy Age reports that law firm Pinsent Masons found 76% of UK businesses were unaware of the new measures and need to take action to minimise the risk of a criminal prosecution.

The new law is strict, and businesses will be liable even in cases where senior management were either uninvolved or unaware of the illegal acts.

30 hours free childcare a week

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Beginning this month, the government is upping the amount of free childcare available to some parents. The universal entitlement for kids aged 3 – 4 is 15 hours a week, but for working parents with children aged 3 – 4 and who earn less than £100,000 a year in total, but more than 16 hours a week, they can claim an additional 15 hours of free childcare.

You can apply through the government’s online childcare service. Or you can ring the childcare service helpline on 0300 123 4097.
Changes to divorce/dissolution petitions

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Could we all be about to start quicky divorce proceedings online with only minimal help from legal authorities? It could be on the cards.

A dramatic change in the look and style of the traditional divorce petition, has been described as “undoubtedly a pre-cursor to online divorce”, according to legal publisher Lexus Nexus.

The main changes will make the petition document “more comprehensible to lay parties”.

Familylaw.co.uk says it will be “a big change in the preparation of the divorce petition”, and they say the changes mean it can be undertaken by many clients themselves with only limited involvement with their solicitors.

Welsh local authority social services annual reports

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Bit of a niche one this. If you are a local authority providing social services in Wales, then the way in which you file annual reports has been updated and takes effect this month.

The Government has produced a handy checklist.

The changes will update the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. They will only apply to Wales.

The Independent