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04 August, 2015

Sharing of data on universal credit claimants with local authorities for council tax support purposes

DWP update on plans to migrate from manual to automated processes

04 August, 2015

Housing Ombudsman reports on 28 per cent increase in volume of complaints and enquiries 

Increase in volume is 'testament to our accessibility but brings its own challenges', says Ombudsman in 2014/2015 annual report.

04 August, 2015

Landlords convicted of illegally evicting a tenant could be required to repay equivalent of 12 months' housing benefit

Proposal contained in new DCLG consultation paper designed to tackle 'rogue landlords'

04 August, 2015

Health Secretary has broken his promise on elderly care cap, says chair of Commons Health Committee 

Despite affecting thousands of families, timing of government's announcement has effectively prevented major shift in policy being properly debated in Parliament, says Sarah Wollaston MP.

03 August, 2015

Care and Support (Eligibility) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New regulations issued in Wales that set out the test which a local authority must apply to determine whether or not an individual with needs identified in an assessment under section 19, 21 or 24 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 is entitled to have those needs met by a local authority.

03 August, 2015

‘Tackling rogue landlords and improving the private rental sector’ 

Government issues consultation on proposals, including a blacklist of rogue landlords and letting agents, tougher penalties for the worst offenders, extending rent repayment orders, introducing fixed penalty notices, and tackling the problem of abandonment where a tenant disappears leaving the landlord uncertain over their right to possess.

03 August, 2015

Stevens v University of Birmingham 

New High Court judgment that considers whether the claimant had a contractual right to be accompanied to an 'investigation meeting' as part of disciplinary proceedings by a person who was neither another member of staff nor a union representative.

03 August, 2015

Immigration Bill will ‘enable landlords to evict illegal immigrant tenants more easily’ 

New measures, to 'make Britain an even harder place for illegal migrants to operate', will also require landlords to conduct 'Right to Rent' checks on their tenants’ immigration status before offering a tenancy agreement.

03 August, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

03 August, 2015

IIAC rejects call for prescription of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in woodworkers

Relationship between COPD and work with wood dusts is 'limited, of variable quality and inconsistent in its findings'

03 August, 2015

Government launches review of the financial advice market 

In addition, the government says that it will consult later in the year on how the current statutory arrangements for the provision of free and impartial financial guidance - including the Money Advice Service and Pension Wise - can be made more effective.

03 August, 2015

London Borough of Wandsworth v Tompkins 

New Court of Appeal judgment that considers whether a tenancy had been granted to the appellant pursuant to the local authority's interim duty under section 188 of the Housing Act 1996 to provide accommodation to them as homeless persons in priority need, or whether they were granted an introductory tenancy pursuant to section 124, which has now become a secure tenancy.

31 July, 2015

Social Housing Regulator writes to chairs and chief executives of smaller housing providers 

Letter follows similar to large housing providers setting out the steps the Regulator expects them to take following the Budget 'to give an assurance that they are adapting to the changed operating environment'.

31 July, 2015

Proposed cuts to tax credits should be scrutinised by Select Committees, says Harriet Harman

Labour's acting leader writes to Prime Minister calling for £6bn cuts to be put on hold

31 July, 2015

Freifeld & Anor v West Kensington Court Ltd 

New Court of Appeal decision that considers relief from forfeiture where there has has been a deliberate breach of a lease by sub-letting without consent.

30 July, 2015

Ombudsman urges councils to ensure complaints investigated by contractors are conducted rigorously 

Local government advises that, whether the service contract is for adult social care or debt recovery, local councils cannot simply accept at face value the outcome of a complaint review conducted by firms acting on their behalf.

30 July, 2015

Less than 50 per cent of single homeless people in Scotland find a settled home 

New report from Crisis also finds that there is a high level of inconsistency in the level of support provided depending on which council a person goes to for help.

30 July, 2015

75 more employers ‘named and shamed’ for failing to pay minimum wage 

Press release from the the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills highlights that, between them, the named companies owed workers over £153,000 in arrears, and span sectors including hairdressing, fashion, publishing, hospitality, health and fitness, automotive, social care, and retail.

30 July, 2015

6.4 per cent of employees across the UK are missing out on their paid holidays 

TUC warns that the new figures, released today, highlight that it has become easier for bad employers to get away with denying workers their full holiday pay since employment tribunal fees were introduced.

30 July, 2015

Right to buy fraud in London has doubled in 2014/2015 

New report from the London Boroughs' Fraud Investigators' Group finds that detected cases of right to buy fraud have more than doubled to 300 in 2014/2015 and analysis suggests that at least 3 per cent of right to buy applications in London are fraudulent.

29 July, 2015

More than 100,000 Londoners affected by changes to council tax support were issued with a court summons in 2014/2015

New report from CPAG and Z2K also finds that more than 12,000 council tax support claimants were referred to bailiffs and more than 71,000 were charged £8.5m in court costs on top of their council tax arrears

29 July, 2015

Communities and Local Government Committee consults on future of housing associations 

Views sought, by 28 August 2015, on impact of issues including government proposals to extend Right to Buy, reduce rents and cut housing benefit for young people.

29 July, 2015

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence consults on draft guideline for end of life care 

Views from registered stakeholders sought by 9 September 2015.

29 July, 2015

New statistics show continued decrease in personal insolvencies and bankruptcies 

Insolvency Service statistics for April to June 2015 include that total number of people who became insolvent and the number of bankruptcies, debt relief orders and individual voluntary arrangements all decreased for the fourth consecutive quarter.

29 July, 2015

Consultation on knowledge and skills for social work leaders and supervisors 

Department for Education invites views on new draft statements of knowledge and skills for practice supervisors of child and family social workers and practice leaders of child and family social work.

29 July, 2015

Government launches review of whether benefit entitlement for people with addictions or obesity should be linked to accepting treatment

Independent review to be carried out by Dame Carol Black with call for evidence issued today

28 July, 2015

Welsh Assembly's Public Accounts Committee urges Welsh Government to develop strategy to manage impact of welfare reform

New report also recommends that Welsh Government publishes a cost/benefit analysis of mitigating full impact of bedroom tax

28 July, 2015

More than 150,000 households receive assistance from Scottish Welfare Fund

New statistics also show that almost £3.9m awarded for food in 2014/2015, up from £2.4m the previous year

27 July, 2015

Scottish Social Justice Minister calls on Work and Pensions Secretary to rethink changes to definition of child poverty

'Any serious attempt to tackle inequality has to focus on in-work poverty', says Alex Neil

27 July, 2015

Age UK’s Chief Economist finds that financial inequality is growing in the pensioner population 

New report also highlights that pensioners still missing out on £3.7bn of means-tested benefits to which they are entitled.

27 July, 2015

Total financial debt for Great Britain rises to £104bn in 2010 to 2012 

New Office for National Statistics figures also that households in the highest wealth decile are less likely to have a heavy property debt burden (2.4 per cent), compared to 42.1 per cent of households in the lowest wealth decile.

27 July, 2015

Chaplair Ltd v Kumari 

In new judgment, Court of Appeal considers whether court has power to order a tenant to pay any costs to the landlord under the terms of the lease where the costs arose in related leasehold valuation tribunal proceedings; and whether court has power to order a tenant to pay costs to the landlord under the terms of the lease where the case was allocated to the small claims track.

27 July, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

24 July, 2015

Government indicates that it has no plans to introduce charges for benefit appeals

Introduction of charges in the Social Entitlement Chamber would not be cost effective, says Ministry of Justice

24 July, 2015

Government withdraws funding for English classes for jobseeker’s allowance claimants

£45m cut to 'Esol plus mandation' programme will have 'immediate and devastating impact'

24 July, 2015

HMRC launches consultation on treatment of termination payments for tax and NI purposes 

Consultation, that will run until 16 October 2015, will look at how the treatment of termination payments could be made simpler and fairer.

24 July, 2015

Discrimination forces tens of thousands of new mothers out of their jobs every year 

New research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission highlights 'worrying levels' of pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

23 July, 2015

New regulations under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 

Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (Social Enterprise, Co-operative and Third Sector) (Wales) Regulations 2015 provide further detail about the sorts of organisations or arrangements which may provide care and support and preventative services, and also make provision as to what constitutes activity which a person might reasonably consider to be carried on for the benefit of society.

23 July, 2015

Only 37 per cent of those reaching state pension age in 2016/2017 will receive full amount of new state pension directly from the state

Minister of State for Pensions says shortfall will be compensated for by private pensions

23 July, 2015

New NHS funding should be used to accelerate the spread of personal health budgets 

New report from the Institute for Public Policy Research says personal health budgets should be an entitlement for all those with long-term conditions by 2020, expanding from around a quarter of a million patients to more than ten million.

23 July, 2015

Housing associations have potential to provide intensive support in finding work to 130,000 tenants 

New research from Inclusion and the National Housing Federation suggests that, by investing £285m nationwide to get the most disadvantaged housing association tenants into work, the government could save at least £355m from the public purse, and help 42,000 residents into work whilst simultaneously creating 7,000 new jobs.

23 July, 2015

Fees for issuing a possession claim in county court to increase from £280 to £355 

Written statement to the House of Lords by Lord Faulks, Minister of State for Civil Justice, also introduces fees for tribunals in the property chamber.

23 July, 2015

Scottish government announces £302,500 for ‘in work support’ for vulnerable young people 

New funding will work alongside Scotland’s Employment Recruitment Incentive and be directed at those who face the most significant barriers when accessing employment opportunities including young people who are disabled, care leavers, carers and those with criminal convictions aged 16 to 29.

23 July, 2015

NRAM Plc v McAdam & Anor 

New Court of Appeal judgment that allows the appeal of NRAM - formerly Northern Rock PLC - against a ruling in the Commercial Court that they were obliged to provide redress to approximately 41,000 borrowers who entered into unsecured (Together) loan agreements which, although the amount of credit provided exceeded £25,000, were documented as if they were regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

22 July, 2015

First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal (Chambers) (Amendment) Order 2015 

New statutory instrument confers functions on the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal to approve the exercise of statutory powers of entry conferred on listing officers and valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency where the occupier of the property has refused consent, and on the Social Entitlement Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal in relation to appeals regarding childcare payments.

22 July, 2015

Work and Pensions Committee launches inquiry into DWP benefit delivery

Views sought on extent to which payments are made correctly and promptly, impact of errors and delays and how performance might be monitored and improved

22 July, 2015

Care and Support (Disputes about Ordinary Residence, etc.) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument make provision concerning disputes between local authorities about where a person is ordinarily resident in Wales for the purposes of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and disputes between a sending and receiving authority under section 56 of the Act (portability of care and support) about the application of that section in relation to a person.

22 July, 2015

Care and Support (Partnership Arrangements for Population Assessments) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument requires Local Health Boards and local authorities to enter into partnership arrangements for the purpose of carrying out their functions under section 14 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

22 July, 2015

DWP confirms details of universal credit roll out between September 2015 and April 2016

New benefit to go live in more than 200 local authority areas across England, Wales and Scotland

22 July, 2015

Government to publish data on the number of ESA and incapacity benefit claimants who have died 'no later than the autumn'

Employment Minister confirms that statistics will be published 'very soon' in response to Urgent Question in House of Commons

22 July, 2015

Changes to tribunal rules

New statutory instrument clarifies direct lodgement process and allows respondent to apply to First-tier Tribunal to prevent withdrawal of appeal from being effective

22 July, 2015

Citizens Advice highlights 53 per cent decrease in cases relating to problems with payday loans 

Charity also finds that one in four people with a payday loan could have borrowed from a bank instead.

22 July, 2015

Treasury publishes Help to Buy ISA factsheet 

Information on scheme, which starts on 1 December 2015, awarding first time buyers amount equivalent to 25 per cent of their savings of up to £200 a month, with maximum award of £3,000.

22 July, 2015

National Audit Office publishes report on the Care Quality Commission 

New report finds that, although the Commission has made substantial progress as it seeks to address public concerns about its regulatory approach, significant challenges lie ahead if it is to demonstrate effectiveness and value for money.

22 July, 2015

Number of Scottish insolvencies continues to fall 

New figures from the from the Scottish Accountant in Bankruptcy show the lowest level of total personal insolvencies, which include both bankruptcies and Protected Trust Deeds, in over 14 years.

22 July, 2015

Hunt (Appellant) v North Somerset Council (Respondent) 

In new judgment, Supreme Court considers an appeal by a young man with ADHD other difficulties against the Court of Appeal's decision not to make a declaration that the local authority had failed in its statutory duties towards him and to award the local authority half its costs.

22 July, 2015

Level of DWP and HMRC fraud and error is a 'long-standing and significant problem', says National Audit Office

New stocktake finds that both departments continue to lose large amounts of money through overpayments and vulnerable people get less than they are entitled to

22 July, 2015

Mortgage Credit Directive (Amendment) Order 2015 

New statutory instrument makes changes to ensure that the legislative changes to the regulatory regime for mortgages which were made at the time of the UK’s implementation of Directive 2014/17/EU achieve the policy intent, including to clarify the regulatory status of a small number of existing buy-to-let mortgages regulated under the consumer credit regime.

22 July, 2015

Kiani v The Secretary of State for the Home Department 

In new judgment, Court of Appeal considers whether former immigration officer's right to a fair hearing had been breached by the witholding of evidence by the Home Department on the grounds of national security.

22 July, 2015

Mohamoud v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea 

In new judgment, Court of Appeal decides that local authority was not obliged to carry out Children Act assessment of children in deciding whether family was intentionally homeless.

22 July, 2015

Insolvency Service publishes draft insolvency rules 

Subject to liaison with Insolvency Rules Committee, ecpected that the rules will be made in Spring 2016, with a commencement date of 1 October 2016.

21 July, 2015

Justice Committee inquiry to look at impact of employment tribunal fees on access to justice 

Issue to be considered as part of new inquiry into courts and tribunals fees and charges designed to reduce costs to the public purse of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service.

21 July, 2015

Social Housing Regulator writes to chairs and chief executives of large housing providers 

Today's letter sets out the steps the Regulator expects housing providers to take following the Budget 'to give an assurance that they are adapting to the changed operating environment'.

21 July, 2015

‘Universal support - delivered locally’ trials to be extended for three months

Extension designed to allow for more time to 'gather more robust data', says DWP

21 July, 2015

DWP signs contract with Atos Canopy for secure transmission of benefit and tax credit data to local authorities

New cloud based Data Hub due to developed and implemented by the end of November 2015

21 July, 2015

Lords vote for amendment to Charities Bill that will impact on planned extension of Right to Buy 

Amendment echoes concerns expressed by the National Housing Federation that forcing housing associations to sell property, even if they are fully compensated financially, sets a dangerous precedent for government intervention in independent charities.

21 July, 2015

Number of debt cases considered by courts in Scotland continues to fall 

New civil justice statistics, published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, include that there were 77,300 civil law cases raised in Scotland in the financial year 2013/2014, a decrease of 41 per cent since 2008/2009, largely because the number of debt cases have nearly halved since then.

21 July, 2015

DWP publishes results of 2014 survey of employees on health and wellbeing 

Findings include that almost a third of employees had a health condition in the 12 months preceding the survey and, of those, a third had not discussed it with their employer.

21 July, 2015

Government publishes impact assessments relating to measures in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill

An extra 224,000 children expected to be affected by benefit cap changes, 500,000 familes by ESA reforms and 3.7 million by tax credit and universal credit changes

21 July, 2015

Public Bill Committee calls for evidence on Welfare Reform and Work Bill

Written submissions sought on factual matters the Committee should be aware of and suggested amendments

21 July, 2015

Social Security Advisory Committee sets out key issues that need to be addressed to ensure effective roll-out of universal credit

Recommendations in today's report include pause in further conditionality, detailed plan for transferring tax credit awards and continued commitment to addressing risks arising from payment procedures

21 July, 2015

Welfare Reform and Work Bill receives second reading in House of Commons

MPs vote in favour of Bill by 308 to 124 following rejection of Labour's reasoned amendment

21 July, 2015

36,760 people assisted by Access to Work between April 2014 and March 2015

New DWP statistics show increase from 35,560 the previous year

20 July, 2015

Housing (Right to Buy) (Prescribed Forms) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument update the RTB1 form to reflect the reduction of the qualifying period for the Right to Buy from five years to three.

20 July, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

17 July, 2015

Work and Pensions Committee launches inquiry into welfare-to-work provision

With current contracts due to expire in 2017, the Committee seeks possible recommendations for reform

17 July, 2015

Income Tax (Limit for Rent-a-Room Relief) Order 2015 

New regulations that raise the tax relief limit for renting a room from £4,250 to £7,500 with effect from April 2016

17 July, 2015

Cap on care costs in England to be delayed until 2020 

Government said it is still 'fully committed' to the cap - which was due to limit care costs to £72,000 from April 2016 - but has delayed the introduction after councils wrote to ministers to say it was not possible to cope with the extra demands the changes would bring at the moment.

17 July, 2015

National Audit Office qualifies its opinion on tax credits expenditure in 2014/2015

HMRC has no estimate of level of error and fraud in 2014/2015 and so Comptroller and Auditor General unable to confirm that awards conform with authorities

17 July, 2015

Private renters have the highest weekly housing costs - and a third struggle with their rent 

English Housing Survey 2013/2014 also finds that the size of the social rented sector has declined significantly - from 32 per cent of all households in 1981 to 17 per cent of all households in 2013/2014.

17 July, 2015

Government announces review to ‘cut red tape’ in the care home sector 

Review aims to address the overlap of different inspection regimes to 'keep necessary protections but avoid wasteful duplication'.

17 July, 2015

System for supporting young people leaving care is not working effectively 

New report from the National Audit Office highlights that the cost of not moving into adulthood successfully is high, and calls for stronger central and local leadership to get a grip on the problem.

17 July, 2015

Friends and relatives unknowingly signing up to large debts as guarantors 

New report from Citizens advice highlights that because guarantors are not regarded as ‘customers’ by regulators, they miss out on basic protections most debtors would receive.

16 July, 2015

Almost two-thirds of children in poverty now live in working families

New report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies also warns that benefit cuts will put upward pressure on absolute poverty

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