Health Law Wales

SHA Wales

Health and Social Care Briefing


None as yet in this current term of the National Assembly for Wales

Legislation in Progress – current Bills

Public Health (Wales) Bill


The Public Health (Wales) Bill utilises legislation as a mechanism for improving and protecting the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales. It comprises a set of provisions in discrete areas of public health policy:

The Bill proposes to introduce changes that:

  • Re-state restrictions on smoking in enclosed and substantially enclosed public and work places, and give Welsh Ministers a regulation-making power to extend the restrictions on smoking to additional premises or vehicles;

  • Place restrictions on smoking in school grounds, hospital grounds and public playgrounds;

  • Provide for the creation of a national register of retailers of tobacco and nicotine products;

  • Provide Welsh Ministers with a regulation-making power to add to the offences which contribute to a Restricted Premises Order (RPO) in Wales;

  • Prohibit the handing over of tobacco and/or nicotine products to a person under the age of 18;

  • Provide for the creation of a mandatory licensing scheme for practitioners and businesses carrying out ’special procedures’, namely acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis and tattooing;

  • Introduce a prohibition on the intimate piercing of persons under the age of 16 years;

  • Require Welsh Ministers to make regulations to require public bodies to carry out health impact assessments in specified circumstances;

  • Change the arrangements for determining applications for entry onto the pharmaceutical list of health boards (LHBs), to a system based on the pharmaceutical needs of local communities;

  • Require local authorities to prepare a local strategy to plan how they will meet the needs of their communities for accessing toilet facilities for public use; and

  • Enable a ‘food authority’ under the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 to retain fixed penalty receipts resulting from offences under that Act, for the purpose of enforcing the food hygiene rating scheme

The Bill was introduced on the 12th of September 2016.

The Bill is currently at stage 1.

Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill


The Bill makes provision for a new statutory framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs. This is to replace existing legislation surrounding special educational needs and the assessment of children and young people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities in post-16 education and training.

The Bill also continues the existence of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales and provides for children, their parents and young people to appeal to it against decisions made in relation to their or their child’s additional learning needs, but renames it the Education Tribunal for Wales

The Bill was introduced on the 12th of December 2016

The Bill is currently at stage 1.

Trade Union Wales Bill


According to the Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the Bill, the purpose and intended effect of the Bill is “to ensure the continued and effective delivery of public services”. It seeks “to support the social partnership agenda, through which the continuous improvement of key public services in Wales can be delivered”.

The Bill proposes to introduce changes that dis-apply certain provisions of the UK Government’s Trade Union Act 2016 as they apply to devolved Welsh authorities. The provisions to be dis-applied are as follows:

  • the 40% ballot threshold for industrial action affecting important public services;

  • powers to require the publication of information on facility time and to impose requirements on public sector employers in relation to paid facility time;

  • restrictions on deduction of union subscriptions from wages by employers

The Bill was introduced on 18th of January 2017

The Bill is currently at stage 1.

Future Bills (of interest)

There is nothing to report here at this time.

Possible Bills

Current White Paper – Reforming Local Government: Resilient and Renewed


Welsh Government is consulting on proposals which:

  • set out arrangements for regional working

  • strengthen the role of councils and councillors

  • provide the framework for future voluntary mergers

  • detail the role of community councils

Welsh Government is also seeking views on reform to the electoral system for local government in Wales.