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25 March 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 introduces measures affecting businesses and employment

Introduced by

Department of Health and Social Care

Targeted at

Educational and childcare settings, general public, courts and tribunals, police, local authorities, coroners, tenants and landlords, food industry, Home Secretary, and Investigatory Powers Commissioners


Introduced to House of Commons on 19 March 2020, given Royal Assent on 25 March. Contains 'sunset' clauses – time limited (2 years), reviewed every 6 months, and can be terminated before then

Stated aims

To support a wide range of aims, including protecting tenants from eviction, supporting the food industry to maintain supplies, managing the deceased with respect and dignity, supporting people by allowing them to claim Statutory Sick Pay earlier, easing the burden on front-line staff, and containing and slowing the virus


The Coronavirus Act 2020 legislates for several measures affecting business and employment. It enables changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to support small and medium-sized businesses, allowing SSP to be claimed earlier. Small and medium-sized businesses will be refunded to reduce the financial burden placed on employers of SSP during the COVID-19 outbreak. The changes will have a retrospective effect from 13 March 2020. The Act also includes measures to help maintain food supplies. Industry is required to provide information about food supplies in the event that an industry partner does not cooperate with the voluntary information-sharing arrangements during a period of potential disruption. Provisions also extend the statutory notice period for evictions for most residential tenancies from 2 months to 3 months.


Coronavirus Bill – progress through parliament

Coronavirus Bill – explanatory notes

Coronavirus Act 2020 – full act