Transition to universal credit: Scotland

This page sets out legislation that is relevant to welfare reform and universal credit specifically relating to Scotland. You can find detail about how this legislation will impact UC in Scotland in our Scotland policy section.

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 broadly applies only to England, Wales and Scotland. There are a couple of exceptions to this set out in Section 149 Welfare Reform Act 2012:

The Scotland Act 2016 received Royal Assent on 24 March 2016. The Act sets out the powers that are being transferred to the Scottish Parliament or Scottish Ministers. Part 3 of the Act relates to welfare benefits with Sections 29 and 30 relating specifically to Universal Credit. There is also a power to create other new benefits under Section 28.

You can find the Bill as introduced, amendments, debate transcripts and explanatory notes on the Parliament UK website.

The first set of regulations, laid on 14 July 2016, set out the timetable for the transfer to Holyrood of a number of welfare powers, including the ability to:

The majority of these powers transfer on 5 September 2016. Discretionary housing payments transfer on 1 April 2017.

In April 2017, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions wrote to the Scottish Social Security Committee concerning the transfer of powers. The letter confirms that:

The full text of the letter is available on the Scottish Parliament website.

Secondary Legislation

Updated 5 June 2017