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27 March, 2015

DWP confirms that JSA conditionality can be modified for claimants with health conditions who have been found fit for work

New edition of Touchbase also highlights three new pilots involving support for ESA claimants

27 March, 2015

All income-based jobseeker's allowance claimants to be required to complete an 'annual verification' check

New edition of Touchbase confirms that benefit will be suspended if the letter is not returned

27 March, 2015

DWP to introduce a clearance time target for mandatory reconsideration for all benefits

Lord Freud tells House of Lords that target will be introduced first for ESA from April 2016

27 March, 2015

Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Repayment Charge and Discharge) Amendment Order 2015 

New regulations issued in relation to the form that local authorities are required to use in registering a 'repayment charge' - that allows local authorities to create a security for costs arising in connection with enforcement powers under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 - with the appropriate land register.

27 March, 2015

New protocols developed for awarding discretionary housing payments in Wales

Rules, which work alongside DWP guidance, aim to prioritise people who are doing all they can to help themselves

27 March, 2015

Common Financial Tool etc. (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2015 

New regulatiosn issued that amend the method for determining an appropriate amount of a living debtor’s income to be paid to a trustee after sequestration of the debtor’s estate provided for in the Common Financial Tool etc. (Scotland) Regulations 2014.

27 March, 2015

Selective licensing in the private rented sector: a guide for local authorities 

New guidance that explains the criteria for making a selective licensing scheme and discusses the types of evidence that local authorities will require to support an application, and highlights that from 27 March 2015 additional criteria for making a scheme will apply, and designations may be made to combat problems of poor property conditions, an influx of migration, a high level of deprivation or high levels of crime.

27 March, 2015

Selective Licensing of Houses (Additional Conditions) (England) Order 2015 

New regulations issued in relation to a local housing authority's power to designate parts of their area as subject to selective licensing - requiring privately rented dwellings in that area to be licensed by the housing authority - to extend the grounds on which a designation can be made to include poor property conditions, current or recent experience of large amounts of inward migration, high levels of deprivation, or high levels of crime.

27 March, 2015

Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rating (Powers of Entry: Safeguards) (England) Order 2015 

New regulations issued that: amend the statutory powers of entry of officers of the Valuation Office Agency contained in the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and the Local Government Finance Act 1992, to insert a requirement to obtain authorisation from the First-tier Tribunal prior to exercising the powers; amend the notice period in the 1988 Act; and amend the fine level in the 1992 Act.

27 March, 2015

Welsh government sets out its revised Child Poverty Strategy for Wales

Report reaffirms Welsh government's ambition to ensure no child is living in poverty by 2020

27 March, 2015

Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government) Regulations 

New regulations that modify certain provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 concerning redundancy payments to individuals employed by local authorities or certain other bodies, to provide that an individual’s service with a succession of employers is treated as continuous for the purpose of determining issues relating to redundancy payments.

27 March, 2015

Consumer Rights Act 2015 

New Act that includes provisions relating to the duty of letting agents to publicise fees.

27 March, 2015

Duty of Letting Agents to Publicise Fees etc. (Exclusion) (England) Regulations 2015 

New regulations that specify persons that are not letting agents for the purposes of Chapter 3 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

27 March, 2015

Allocation of Housing (Qualification Criteria for Right to Move) (England) Regulations 2015 

New regulations that ensure that where a local housing authority uses a local connection requirement as a criterion to decide whether a class of persons are qualifying persons for an allocation of housing accommodation, they must not apply that criterion to certain persons.

27 March, 2015

House of Commons Library note on Housing Health and Safety Rating System 

New briefing note explains the old Housing Fitness Standard and the reasons for its replacement with the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System before giving an overview of how the new HHSRS works.

27 March, 2015

Sharing solutions toolkit 

New resource from Crisis to help organisations working with homeless people moving into shared accommodation.

27 March, 2015

Government to provide an extra £25m to help manage pressures of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 

Funding, announced today by Minister for Care and Support Norman Lamb, is about one quarter of council leaders’ estimates of the costs for authorities arising from the Cheshire West judgment, and will be available for one year only, on a non-ring fenced basis.

27 March, 2015

43 per cent of calls to the Acas Helpline relate to problems around ‘contracts’ 

Acas Helpline Evaluation report finds that a further 42 per cent of calls concern 'discipline, dismissal and grievance'.

27 March, 2015

New working draft of Insolvency Rules 

Following responses to a previous consultation, the Insolvency Service has drafted a further working draft of new Insolvency Rules which will replace the Insolvency Rules 1986 and all its amendments, and are intended to come into force in April 2016.

27 March, 2015

Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 

New Act that includes provision for regulation of insolvency practitioners including a requirement that they should provide services at a cost which is fair and reasonable.

27 March, 2015

Deregulation Act 2015 

New Act that includes provisions relating to authorisation of insolvency practitioners, and improving access to bank accounts for bankrupts.

27 March, 2015

Number of employment tribunal cases lodged in Scotland has fallen by 81 per cent 

New report from Citizens Advice Scotland finds that fees are deterring clients from fighting for their rights meaning rogue bosses are more likely to 'get away with it'.

27 March, 2015

Deregulation Act 2015 

New Act which includes a number of provisions relating to housing including measures to prevent retaliatory eviction.

27 March, 2015

Insolvency Act 1986 (Amendment) Order 2015 

New statutory instrument that increases the minimum level at which a creditor may petition for an individual's bankruptcy in England and Wales from £750 to £5,000.

27 March, 2015

Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015 

New Act that makes provision about both the safety of health and social care services in England, and the objectives of the regulatory bodies for health and social care provisions.

27 March, 2015

Government failing to discharge people with learning difficulties back into the community 

New report from the Public Accounts Committee finds that the number of people with learning disabilities remaining in hospital has not fallen, but has remained broadly the same at around 3,200, despite the government's commitment to discharge them, where appropriate, back into their homes and communities.

27 March, 2015

Tenants frequently ripped-off by fees often hidden by letting agents, says Citizens Advice 

New report - Still Let Down - calls for letting agents’ fees to be banned to protect tenants in the private rental sector.

27 March, 2015

StepChange sees 84 per cent increase in Welsh clients over last four years 

New report - Wales in the Red - also finds that almost a third of Welsh clients were paying more than 25 per cent of their income towards servicing their debts at the time of contacting the charity.

26 March, 2015

Paul Gray reappointed as chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee

Mr Gray will continue to bring a wealth of skills and experience to the Committee, says Work and Pensions Minister

26 March, 2015

Government plans to save £2.6bn a year with new fraud, error and debt measures

Measures include increased use of data sharing and increased ability to recover overpayments and fines

26 March, 2015

Sharp rise in number of people in poverty in the private rented sector in Scotland over last ten years

New report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation also finds that approximately twice as many working age adults under 30 are in poverty as compared to pensioners

26 March, 2015

How council tax debt collection is harming children 

New report from The Children's Society finds that many local authorities are failing to provide sufficient support and advice to families struggling with council tax debt by using damaging debt practices, leaving families worrying about potential bailiff visits and court summonses, which has a damaging impact on children's and parents' emotional and physical health.

26 March, 2015

Nine per cent increase in number of households living in temporary accommodation 

New statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government also show that there has been a 6 per cent increase in the number of households accepted as homeless in the last quarter of 2014 compared to the last quarter of 2013.

26 March, 2015

Health and Social Care (Miscellaneous Revocations etc.) Order 2015 

New regulations that remove a number of historic instruments relating to public health and the National Health Service, which are no longer applicable.

26 March, 2015

Health and Social Care (Miscellaneous Revocations) Regulations 2015 

New regulations that remove a number of historic instruments relating to health and social care and the National Health Service, which are no longer applicable.

26 March, 2015

Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Act 2015 

Act of the Scottish Parliament to extinguish various liabilities arising by virtue of the Abolition of Domestic Rates Etc. (Scotland) Act 1987.

26 March, 2015

Addressing complex needs: improving services for vulnerable homeless people 

New policy paper from the Department for Communities and Local Government setting out the issues around 'complex needs homelessness' and exploring what more could be done to improve outcomes in the future.

26 March, 2015

House of Commons Library note on accommodation and financial support for asylum seekers 

New briefing note highlights that asylum seekers who are destitute can apply to UK Visas and Immigration for accommodation and/or financial support but also points out that local authorities are responsible for providing support to unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

25 March, 2015

Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015 

New statutory rule increases, from 22nd March 2015, the limits applying to certain awards of industrial tribunals, the Fair Employment Tribunal or Labour Relations Agency statutory arbitration, and other amounts payable under employment legislation, as specified in the Schedule to the Order.

25 March, 2015

Labour announces five point plan to reduce food bank dependency

Measures set out by Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary include abolition of bedroom tax, reduction in benefit payment delays and reforms to sanctions regime

25 March, 2015

Conservatives plan to extend language requirement for jobseekers to incapacity benefits and housing benefit

Home Office source tells Telegraph that, if elected, Party intends to put 'rocket boosters' on current sanctions regime for those who refuse to learn English

25 March, 2015

Texts reminding ESA claimants to attend medical assessment to be introduced later this year

Minister for Disabled People confirms national roll-out following trial in autumn 2014

25 March, 2015

Number of cases managed by Child Maintenance Service continues to increase, says DWP

New statistics show increase of 18 per cent between November 2014 and February 2015

25 March, 2015

DWP awarded just over £4m in short term benefit advances between April 2014 and February 2015

Employment Minister also confirms that Department intends to publish figures on number of hardship applications and awards in May 2015

25 March, 2015

Scottish Government announces further £100m to support care worker training 

Continued investment in Voluntary Sector Development Fund to benefit around 800 employees in 74 care charities across Scotland.

25 March, 2015

Care Certificate to be launched on 1 April 2015 

Department of Health confirms that all new healthcare assistants and social care support workers will need to get a Care Certificate in their first 12 weeks of employment.

24 March, 2015

Housing (Wales) Act 2014 (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument provides that Chapter 2 of Part 2 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 (help for people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness) is added to the homelessness functions that may be contracted out by local authorities under the Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Allocation of Housing and Homelessness Functions) Order 1996.

24 March, 2015

National Assistance - sums for personal requirements and social care charges in Wales 

New statutory instrument prescribes £25.50 as the sum needed for personal requirements and £60 as maximum reasonable charge for a service and the maximum reasonable amount of a reimbursement or contribution payable for that service.

24 March, 2015

Work and Pensions Committee calls for full independent review of benefit sanctions regime

Further investigation needed in light of concerns including approach of individual jobcentres and whether targets for sanctions exist, say MPs

24 March, 2015

Government’s statutory duty to eliminate child poverty by 2020 should be treated as a human rights issue

In a new report, the Joint Committee on Human Rights also expresses its disappointment that, during the current period of austerity, disadvantaged children have suffered disproportionately

24 March, 2015

DWP publishes triennial review of Social Security Advisory Committee

Review concludes that Committee is in unique position to provide advice on proposed regulations due to its specialist knowledge of welfare matters and that it should continue in current form

24 March, 2015

Failure to implement welfare reform in Northern Ireland during 2015/2016 will lead to deduction of £114m from Block Grant

In written answer to parliament, Baroness Randerson warns that without changes to welfare system it will be difficult for Northern Ireland Executive to deliver balanced budget

24 March, 2015

More than 109,000 people have received new state pension statement

New DWP ad-hoc analysis following launch of new statement service in October 2014

24 March, 2015

Convention on Social Security between UK and Chile

New statutory instrument

24 March, 2015

17 per cent of population in Scotland caring for a relative, friend or neighbour 

Findings of new Scottish Government report include that 759,000 people are caring, with around 171,000 providing more than 35 hours of care a week, and that there are around 29,000 young carers aged under 16 - four per cent of that age group.

24 March, 2015

Seven in ten carers in employment feel isolated at work, says Carer’s UK 

New report finds that employers, health and social care services, central, national and local government and local voluntary and charity organisations all have a role to play in improving public understanding of caring and disability and raise awareness of carers in the workplace.

24 March, 2015

Majority of council tax will soon be spent on community care, says Local Government Association 

New analysis shows that, of every £1 of council tax collected by councils in 2019/2020, 60p will be spent on caring for the elderly, vulnerable adults, and vulnerable children, up from 41p in 2010/2011.

24 March, 2015

DCLG confirms that Audit Commission will close on 31 March 2015 

Communities Secretary sets out details of its replacement by 'a new, leaner, framework which, whilst it retains the knowledge and expertise of the commission where it has value, will create more freedom and flexibility for local public bodies, replacing top-down inspection with local accountability'.

24 March, 2015

Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Order 2015 

New statutory instrument amends amends provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 including the definition of 'domestic premises supplier' - a category of suppliers which require authorisation under the Act in order to carry out certain activities relating to the supply of credit - and also ensures that credit broking in relation to a hire purchase agreement is a 'relevant credit activity', which is relevant to determine which threshold conditions the suppliers have to satisfy for authorisation.

24 March, 2015

Government announces new ‘Specialist Employability Support’ programme 

Programme, that will go live on 1 September 2015, will target those disabled people who need the most support to enter work or undertake work-related courses and activities.

23 March, 2015

Money Advice Service welcomes findings of independent review of its service 

'Review has found that our work on debt advice has been largely successful and has made a positive difference for consumers, notes MAS Chief Executive.

23 March, 2015

Government responds to independent review of Money Advice Service 

Government welcomes review’s recommendations that MAS should make sure customers continue to receive high quality debt advice while ensuring value for money, and the commitment secured by the review from the energy and water sectors to each contribute £1 million to MAS-funded debt advice in the next financial year.

23 March, 2015

Treasury publishes final report & recommendations of Independent Review of the Money Advice Service 

Report recommends measures to improve the effectiveness and reach of debt advice, overseen by a Debt Advice Steering Group of funders and debt advice charities, chaired by the Money Advice Service.

23 March, 2015

Government responds to Competition and Markets Authority report on residential property management 

Response accepts 'vast majority' of recommendations including in relation to redress, improvement of transparency and communications and mediation.

23 March, 2015

DWP notifies bidders of £21m contract to provide cognitive behavioural therapy to support claimants into work

Department says that it expects to award at least two contracts for online or telephone support to cover whole of England for period of two years from early 2016

23 March, 2015

Inadequate notification of requirement to ‘sign on’ weekly for JSA

CJSA/4190/2014
[2015] UKUT 61 (AAC)

23 March, 2015

Pay and Work Helpline to transfer to Acas from 1 April 2015 

In written statement to parliament yesterday, Business Minister says that new arrangement will allow for a 'one-stop shop' service for employers and employees who will be able to contact Acas for free and confidential advice on all employment rights and workplace issues.

23 March, 2015

Insolvency Service launches consultation on improving redundancy consultation 

Views sought on understanding of the current requirements, their purpose and benefits; factors that facilitate or inhibit effective consultation; and ensuring timely notification and effective consultation'

23 March, 2015

Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (Consequential Amendments) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015 

New statutory rule amends disqualification provisions preventing individuals who are bankrupt from being elected or appointed to, or holding, an office of position, or from becoming or remaining a member of a body or group.

23 March, 2015

Fair Employment and Treatment Order (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 

New statutory rule amends the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 to give full effect in Northern Ireland to Council Directive 2000/78/EC establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.

23 March, 2015

DWP publishes evaluation of pilot providing vocational support for ESA claimants through Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme

Evaluation finds 'considerable positivity' about service and makes recommendations to inform larger scale pilot

23 March, 2015

Devolution of Work Programme needs to be tailored to local governance capacity, says Joseph Rowntree Foundation

New report also finds that future welfare to work provision needs to reward job entry, retention and progression rather than simple caseload reduction

23 March, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

20 March, 2015

Inquiry into the impact of welfare reform on women launched by Scottish Welfare Reform Committee

Interested parties invited to submit evidence ahead of 1 May 2015 deadline

20 March, 2015

Government responds to council tax powers of entry consultation 

Government says that it has decided to proceed with amending the Valuation Office Agency’s powers of entry as proposed in the consultation paper, to provide 'protection from unnecessary and intrusive visits into taxpayers' homes'.

20 March, 2015

Government publishes new whistleblowing guidance for prescribed persons 

Guidance is aimed at prescribed persons - i.e. people and bodies you can blow the whistle to rather than your employer - and includes information and advice on their role as a prescribed person and on how to handle disclosures.

20 March, 2015

Government publishes new whistleblowing guidance and code of practice for employers 

Documents are designed to help employers understand the law relating to whistleblowing; put in place a whistleblowing policy; and recognise the benefits that whistleblowing can bring to an organisation.

20 March, 2015

Flexible Working Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 

New regulations issued in Northern Ireland that deal with eligibility, applications, breaches of procedure and compensation in relation to statutory applications for contract variation to allow flexible working under the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

20 March, 2015

Maternity and Parental Leave etc. (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 

New regulations issued in Northern Ireland that remove the limitation on parental leave so that it may be taken at any time before a child’s eighteenth birthday; and amend the right to return after maternity and parent leave to reflect the introduction of shared parental leave by the Shared Parental Leave Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.

20 March, 2015

Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No. 2) Order 2015

New regulations that bring into force, on 1 April 2015, specified provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 in relation to local authority powers to enforce 'house condition works', in furtherance of the Scottish Government's policy intention that people should live in good quality homes.

20 March, 2015

Lloyd v Humphreys & Glasgow Ltd 

New High Court judgment that considers, with a claim for damages for asbestosis against two former employers having been settled before the the claimant's husband's death, whether a claim for damages for mesothelioma brought against a different employer after his death was an abuse of process, and if not (it being conceded that the limitation period for bringing it had expired), the court should exclude the limitation period which would otherwise apply, so as to permit the claim to be brought.

20 March, 2015

Local Government Ombudsman saw 27 per cent fewer homelessness complaints in 2014 

Ombudsman reports that, while it is apparent that individual councils nationally have been taking steps to deal with this difficult issue, cases are still being seen where authorities make errors in their handling of homelessness applications.

20 March, 2015

Welsh Government announces £8.38m funding for Discretionary Assistance Fund

Vitally important that we are able to provide a lifeline to people when they need it most, says Minister

20 March, 2015

12,000 teenagers aged 16 and 17 present to their local council as homeless every year 

New report from the Children's Society finds that half of these are never properly assessed and calls for all 16 and 17 year olds who present as homeless to get a full assessment from children’s services so that, even if they do not need somewhere to live, all their needs are met and they can be properly supported into adulthood.

20 March, 2015

Shared parental pay in Northern Ireland

New statutory rules

20 March, 2015

Proposed cuts to housing benefit for 18-21 year olds would only save £3m

New research highlights councils' duties to house the most vulnerable, including young parents and care leavers

20 March, 2015

Shared parental leave in Northern Ireland

New statutory rules

20 March, 2015

24 per cent of individuals on the Troubled Families programme have achieved a P45 employment start

However, new statistics show that just over half of these went on to become sustained job outcomes

20 March, 2015

Nzolameso (Appellant) v City of Westminster 

New judgment from the Supreme Court finds that Westminster had failed to discharge its duty to secure accommodation available for occupation by offering the appellant and her five children temporary accommodation near Milton Keynes.

20 March, 2015

More information needed before a decision can be made on banning letting agents’ fees 

New report from the Communities and Local Government Committee concludes that to determine the likely impact of introducing a ban on letting agents’ fees in England the net impact on tenants in terms of rents, access to property and other costs, including agents’ additional fees, would need to be assessed.

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