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04 March, 2015

Lone parents in Scotland set to lose £1,800 a year by the time welfare reforms come to full fruition

New research, commissioned by the Welfare Reform Committee, also finds little hope that loss of benefit income will be offset by growth in employment income

04 March, 2015

Additional DLA tests for children

CDLA/3048/2013
[2015] UKUT 18 (AAC)

04 March, 2015

Appeal signed by claimant’s solicitor is validly made

CH/2544/2014
[2015] UKUT 28 (AAC)

04 March, 2015

Employment tribunal claims: debunking the myths 

New report from the University of Bristol proposes a radical review of the employment tribunal system including an end to fees to take cases to tribunal, a reconsideration of the recent weakening of fundamental employment rights, and a simplification of procedures and systems for dealing with less complex claims such as unpaid wages.

04 March, 2015

Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bill passed by Scottish Parliament

Bill puts on a statutory footing the requirement to provide day-to-day living expenses and household items to those in crisis or need

04 March, 2015

House of Commons Library note on anti-social behaviour in social housing 

New briefing note gives an overview of the remedies available to social landlords to deal with tenants who exhibit anti-social behaviour.

04 March, 2015

New guidance on introducing the cap on care costs and the appeals system under the Care Act 

New Local Authority Circular also gives advice on how local authorities might think about using the additional £146 million of funding provided from April 2015 to plan and prepare for the final set of changes to fully implement the Care Act.

04 March, 2015

Acas’ Early Conciliation service dealt with over 60,000 cases in nine months up to December 2014 

New statistics show that, of cases notified between April and September 2014, by January 2015 16.3 per cent had reached a COT3 settlement, 60.5 per cent did not progress to a tribunal claim, and in 23.2 per cent of cases the dispute progressed to a tribunal claim.

04 March, 2015

KM, R (On the Application Of) v Northamptonshire County Council (Rev 1) 

New High Court judgment finds that, when calculating the 'protected income' figure for the purposes of assessing charges for local authority services under section 17 of the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983, both the support group component and the enhanced disability premium should be included in the base figure to which 25 per cent is added.

04 March, 2015

Only 14 percent of councils pay their homecare providers the recommended minimum price 

New report from the United Kindgom Homecare Association - which recommends a minimum price for homecare of £15.74 per hour - finds that the average price paid by councils to their independent and voluntary sector homecare providers ranged from £11.35 per hour in Northern Ireland to £14.28 per hour in Wales.

03 March, 2015

Government publishes new fuel poverty strategy for England 

New strategy, the first in nearly 14 years, aims to set a durable framework for future fuel poverty policies with an ambitious new legal target and a strong accountability system, says Minister.

03 March, 2015

Insolvency (Amendment) Rules 2015 

New regulations that enable the High Court to transfer winding-up cases to the County Court at Central London, and introduce new requirements for insolvency practitioners in relation to the provision of information relating to fees and expenses.

03 March, 2015

National Federation of ALMOs calls for support ahead of universal credit roll- out 

Housing body calls on next government to allow universal credit claimants to choose whether to have housing element paid direct to landlord and asks for additional resources to help manage the change.

03 March, 2015

Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal Fees (Amendment) Order 2015 

New statutory instrument makes amendments to clarify the fee payable for an employer’s contract claim and to reflect the fact that the term 'default judgment', used to describe the disposal of undefended claims, has been replaced by 'rule 21 judgment' - a definition of that term is also inserted.

03 March, 2015

Amendments to tax credits appeals rules in Northern Ireland

New statutory instrument

03 March, 2015

Tax Credits uprating 2015/2016

New statutory instrument

03 March, 2015

Health and Social Care Act 2012 (Commencement No. 9) Order 2015 

New statutory instrument commences provisions relating to requirement that Privy Council impose on the regulatory bodies overseen by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care such periodic fees as the Privy Council determines in accordance with new section 25A of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002.

03 March, 2015

Employment Minister sets out details of Jobcentre Plus support for claimants with drug or alcohol dependency

Written answer to parliament confirms that people who are not in treatment are referred to treatment provider and that effect of treatment on availability for work is recognised

03 March, 2015

Guardian’s allowance uprating 2015/2016

New statutory instruments

02 March, 2015

Design of sanctions scheme includes both threat and use of hunger as instrument of policy, say Churches

New report calls for change of culture from one of enforcement and punishment to one of assistance and support

02 March, 2015

Existing benefit loans and debts to be migrated to universal credit live service claims manually

New edition of HB Direct also confirms that live service claims are expected to be switched to digital service towards end of roll-out in 2018/2019

02 March, 2015

Allowing JSA and IS claimants or their partners and partners of ESA claimants to attend 43 days of Reserve Forces training

New statutory instrument increases allowance from 15 days for first year and amends provisions relating to treatment of payment for training

02 March, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

02 March, 2015

Scottish Government invests £70m in scheme to help first time buyers 

Open Market Shared Equity Scheme to provides assistance to eligible buyers in the form of an interest free loan.

02 March, 2015

Substantial risk to health arising from being found capable of work-related activity

New DWP guidance on updated advice to healthcare professionals developed separately from Upper Tribunal decision on what evidence of work-related activity is required

02 March, 2015

Help with NHS costs in Scotland

New statutory instrument

27 February, 2015

St David’s Day Agreement highlights need for consideration of Welsh Government's role in the administration of DWP employment programmes

However, transfer of new powers to Wales will not result in devolution of social security

27 February, 2015

Government confirms appointment of new Housing Ombudsman 

Currently Deputy Legal Director, Head of Planning Law Reform at DCLG, Denise Fowler will take up her appointment on 11 March 2015.

27 February, 2015

Bankruptcy (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2015 

New regulations issued that, in the main, make minor corrections and improvements to the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Regulations 2014, the Bankruptcy (Applications and Decisions) (Scotland) Regulations 2014, and the Bankruptcy Fees (Scotland) Regulations 2014.

27 February, 2015

Water Industry (Charges) (Vulnerable Groups) (Consolidation) Regulations 2015 

New regulations issued in relation to the duty on water companies to provide assistance to metered households on low incomes who may struggle to afford their water bills.

27 February, 2015

Insolvency Practitioners (Amendment) Regulations 2015 

New regulations issued that provide for relaxation of the record keeping requirements for insolvency practitioners.

27 February, 2015

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2015 

In force from 31 March 2015, new regulations provide for an increase in the level of payments made under the scheme for each age category by an average of around £30,000.

27 February, 2015

Government responds to short term recommendations from Paul Gray's independent review of personal independence payment

Response is an important step in outlining the action the DWP will take, together with the independent assessment providers, to deliver positive changes, says Work and Pensions Minister

27 February, 2015

Government accepts majority of recommendations made by Dr Patrick Litchfield in his fifth and final independent review of the WCA

Work and Pensions Minister says that he agrees with Dr Litchfield’s analysis of the 'key areas for further exploration'

27 February, 2015

More adaptable, care-ready homes needed to avoid bed blocking in the NHS 

Warning from National Housing Federation, who estimate that over 100,000 extra homes for older people will be needed in the housing association sector alone in the next 15 years.

27 February, 2015

£14m package announced to support implementation of changes to Wales’ social services 

Package of funding is in addition to the £20m the Minister has already announced for the Intermediate Care Fund in 2015/2016, and the additional £10m being made available to local government to fund social services through the Revenue Support Grant.

27 February, 2015

Renters at higher risk of mental health problems than homeowners 

According to a poll commissioned by Generation Rent, renters are 75 per cent more likely to experience serious anxiety and depression than homeowners.

27 February, 2015

Debt related mental and physical health problems cost the UK £979m, estimates StepChange 

In a recent survey of the charity's clients, 47 per cent of respondents said they had visited their GP as a result of mental or physical health problems caused by their debts, and a further 6 per cent had visited hospital and 5 per cent had visited Accident and Emergency.

26 February, 2015

'Surplus earnings' rule in universal credit will only apply where the claimant has been earning more than £300 over the nil universal credit threshold

New statutory instrument also includes an exemption from the rule for victims of domestic abuse

26 February, 2015

Miscellaneous amendments to child maintenance scheme

New statutory instrument includes provisions relating to correction of accidental errors and disclosing information to credit reference agencies

26 February, 2015

Amendment to maternity allowance earnings rules

New statutory instrument removes references to 'certificate of small earnings exception'

26 February, 2015

DCLG publishes English housing survey 2013 to 2014 

Findings include that, of the 22.6m households in England, 63 per cent were owner occupiers, 19 per cent were renting privately and 17 per cent were renting social housing.

26 February, 2015

Scottish local authorities agree council tax freeze for 2015-2016 

Scottish Government says that it has fully funded the eighth successive freeze by providing an extra £70m each year which is included in the local government finance settlement of over £10.85bn for 2015-2016.

26 February, 2015

Third party payments to creditors from universal credit will be made every 28 days

Updated guidance from the DWP highlights that, as there are only 12 assessment periods in a year, there will be one 28 day cycle when no payment is made

26 February, 2015

Universal credit data sharing being introduced from 16 February 2015 in areas that are part of national roll-out to single people

Minister for Disabled People tells parliament that new powers being implemented on a 'test and learn' basis

26 February, 2015

Poverty among young adults increased at more than double the rate of other age groups over last decade

New research from the New Policy Institute finds that this is due to both rising worklessness and an increase in poverty in working households due to housing tenure

26 February, 2015

Help to Buy in Wales likely to be extended beyond 2016 

The precise details of the extended scheme will depend on a number of factors, including the outcome of the next UK government’s Spending Review, which will set the Welsh budget for 2016-17 and beyond.

26 February, 2015

Better Care Fund has prioritised NHS spending over supporting adult social care, says PAC 

In its report published today, the Public Accounts Committee makes a number of recommendations including that the Departments should set out the specific responsibilities and accountabilities for the Fund of all local and national partners, and should publish an annual scorecard to demonstrate the extent to which the Fund is supporting integration, maintaining adult social care, reducing emergency admissions and saving money.

26 February, 2015

Rough sleeping counts in England up 14 per cent between Autumn 2013 and Autumn 2014 

New statistics from DCLG also show that 27 per cent of the rough sleepers are in London which has seen an increase of 37 per cent over the year compared to 7 per cent in the rest of England.

25 February, 2015

DWP has made 'very little progress' in delivering universal credit despite £700m spent so far, says Public Accounts Committee

In new report, Committee highlights that just 0.3 per cent of the seven million claimants expected in longer term were claiming new benefit in October 2014

25 February, 2015

Extension of jobseeker’s allowance sickness periods

New statutory instrument provides for 'extended period of sickness' of up to 13 weeks from 30 March 2015

25 February, 2015

Government intervention can make a massive difference to living standards and future levels of poverty, says Fabian Society

However, it warns that inaction will lead to stagnant living standards and a huge rise in poverty and inequality

25 February, 2015

Amendments to application of social security reciprocal agreements with Australia, Canada and New Zealand

New statutory instrument ensures that residence in EEA territories and Switzerland is treated as residence in the UK for the purposes of the agreements

25 February, 2015

Creditors still chasing debts despite Debt Relief Orders, says Citizens Advice 

According to new report, 85 per cent of advisers surveyed say that clients being chased for payments despite the debts being listed in the Debt Relief Order.

25 February, 2015

Around 100 care companies are investigated for failing to pay minimum wage 

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb says, 'We know the 100 care companies being investigated are just the tip of the iceberg in the care sector and are absolutely committed to getting back the wages people have worked so hard for.'

25 February, 2015

Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill introduced before National Assembly 

Bill, which aims to introduce a revised and streamlined legal framework for the regulation and inspection of care and support in Wales and to ensure that no service escapes the regulatory regime, will be implemented in 2017 if passed.

25 February, 2015

Number of zero-hours contracts used by employers increases to 1.8 million 

Commenting on the figures from the Office for National Statistics, the TUC quoted research that shows zero-hours workers earn £300 a week less, on average, than staff on permanent contracts, two in five zero-hours workers are paid less than £111 a week and do not qualify for statutory sick pay, and short-term and insecure working patterns mean many zero-hours workers do not work continuously with one employer for two years and miss out on employment rights.

25 February, 2015

42,500 sanctions imposed on lone parent income support claimants in year to September 2014

New DWP statistics show that this represents 5.7 per cent of client base

24 February, 2015

Maximus aims to carry out one million work capability assessments this year

Firm taking over from Atos on 1 March tells BBC it will need to take on hundreds of new healthcare professionals to clear 500,000 to 600,000 backlog and deal with new claims

24 February, 2015

Government announces increases in maximum discount for Right to Buy 

DCLG says that, from April 2015, discounts will go up to £77,900 outside of London and £103,900 in the capital and also highlights that 33,000 people have exercised Right to Buy since 2012.

24 February, 2015

DWP has recovered £30m in overpayments from Work Programme providers since 2011

Employment Minister also tells parliament that this is less than two per cent of total expenditure

24 February, 2015

Scottish local authorities made over 101,000 discretionary housing payments between April and December 2014

New statistics from the Scottish government show that over £46m has been spent or committed

24 February, 2015

Devon and Cornwall Autistic Community Trust v The Cornwall Council 

In new judgment, High Court considers claim for damages relating to underfunding by local authority for care and residential accommodation to eight adults with autistic disorders.

24 February, 2015

70 per cent of nurses across England delay discharging older patients because of lack of home care 

New report from Royal Voluntary Service also finds that, despite recent funding injections for some local authorities, around 40 per cent of older patients are medically fit for discharge but remain in hospital because there is no post-hospital support in place.

24 February, 2015

Prime Minister pledges additional support for those caring for a person with dementia 

Telegraph reports on Conservative Party proposal that all people looking after dementia patients will be offered the opportunity take time off, education, training as well as professional psychological help.

24 February, 2015

Chatered Institute for Housing calls on government to exempt rural properties from Right to Buy 

Institute also calls on Chancellor to look at ways of making sure homes sold under right to buy are replaced on a genuine ‘one for one’ basis – including allowing councils to keep more of the cash from each sale and reduce discounts locally.

24 February, 2015

Competition and Markets Authority publishes final report on payday lending 

Measures designed to lower costs to consumers include that online payday lenders will be ordered to publish details of their products on at least one price comparison website which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

24 February, 2015

50,000 people with multiple jobs below state pension lower earnings limit have total earnings above the limit

New DWP statistics highlight number of people who do not achieve a qualifying year for state pension purposes despite earning more than the required amount

23 February, 2015

Low Pay Commission recommends 3 per cent increase in the national minimum wage 

Commission also recommends increases, from October 2015, of 3.3 per cent in the youth development rate; 2.2 per cent in the 16-17 year old rate; and 2.6 per cent in the apprentice rate.

23 February, 2015

Prime Minister pledges continued protection of universal pensioner benefits

'If you've worked hard during your life, saved, paid your taxes, done the right thing, you deserve dignity when you retire', says David Cameron

23 February, 2015

In parts of Britain less than half of jobs paying the living wage, says TUC 

Analysis of House of Commons Library figures shows that nationally one in five jobs pays under the living wage but in some parliamentary constituencies this rises to more than half, with the numbers even greater for women.

23 February, 2015

Financial Conduct Authority asks financial providers to review approach to customer vulnerability 

New research reveals that some vulnerable consumers seeking help from financial providers are meeting ‘a computer says no’ approach, putting them at risk of further detriment.

23 February, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

20 February, 2015

Southwark council order to stop ‘gatekeeping’ vulnerable homeless families 

Hansen Palomares Solicitors report on High Court consent order in judicial review proceedings that has required Southwark 'to cease with immediate effect the policies and practices' which had led to a homeless family being told to look for accommodation in the private market before the council would investigate whether they were homeless.

20 February, 2015

Government sets out plans to deliver over 400,000 homes for London 

Plans include designating nine Housing Zones that will have access to funding set aside to deliver affordable housing quickly, and launching an £84m Social Mobility Fund to enable local authorities to offer cash sums to help council tenants, who are eligible for RIght to Buy, to buy their own home on the open market.

20 February, 2015

National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2015 

New regulations issued in Scotland that provide, from 6 April 2015, for increases in the capital limits and the savings credit disregard used in assessing a person's ability to pay a contribution towards the cost of residential accommodation.

20 February, 2015

National Assistance (Sums for Personal Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2015 

New regulations issued in Scotland that, from 6 April 2015, provide for an increase in the 'personal expenses allowance' for those in residential care from £24.55 to £25.05 per week.

20 February, 2015

More needs to be done to support young single homeless people to access shared accommodation 

New report from Crisis - Sharing in Scotland - finds that local authorities are increasingly using temporary accommodation to house young homeless people which is harmful to them and local authorities have to bear the financial cost, and more needs to be done to enable young people to access shared accommodation in the private rented sector.

20 February, 2015

Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill receives final approval 

Passing of Bill means that any liability to pay community charge arrears ended on February 1 2015, and surcharges, civil penalties and fees, and other financial outlays for community charge debt enforcement action also cease to be collectable.

19 February, 2015

Williams v Leeds United Football Club 

In new judgment, High Court dismisses claim for payment that would have been made under notice period if notice period had not been curtailed when Technical Director was dismissed for gross misconduct.

19 February, 2015

Roll-out of universal credit should test different payment methods to protect 'financial autonomy of women'

New report from the JCHR also recommends that the government should exclude sanctuary scheme properties from the bedroom tax

19 February, 2015

Care and Support (Market Oversight Criteria) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument sets out provisions in relation to the duty on the Care Quality Commission to determine whether a registered care provider satisfies the criteria for entry into the market oversight regime.

19 February, 2015

Care and Support (Eligibility Criteria) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument specify the 'eligibility criteria' for the purposes of Part 1 of the Care Act 2014 which sets out the duty of local authorities to meet those of an adult’s needs for care and support and those of a carer’s needs for support which meet the eligibility criteria.

19 February, 2015

Care and Support (Children’s Carers) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument makes provision in relation to power for local authorities in England to meet the support needs of the carer of a child in circumstances where the authority has carried out an assessment of the carer’s needs in advance of the child becoming 18.

19 February, 2015

Care and Support (Business Failure) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument makes provision in relation to duties on local authorities in England and Wales, and on Health and Social Care trusts in Northern Ireland, to meet care and support needs of adults, or support needs of carers, in circumstances where registered providers of care are unable to carry on because of 'business failure'.

19 February, 2015

T, R (On the Application Of) v Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council 

In new judgment, High Court rejects challenge to local authority consultation on proposal to cut adult social care budget for 2015/2016.

19 February, 2015

New research on wellbeing of older carers 

Report from the International Longevity Centre finds that long term caregiving is associated with declines in quality of life and life satisfaction for carers, and an increased risk of depression, and that giving up caregiving was associated with increased depression amongst both male and female carers.

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