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28 August, 2015

Grounds for revision must be established before a DLA decision may be changed

CDLA/5310/2014
[2015] UKUT 453 (AAC)

27 August, 2015

Councils’ use of bailiffs up by 16 per cent in last two years 

New Money Advice Trust reports also highlights that council tax arrears, which account for the majority of bailiff use by local authorities, is one of the fastest growing debt types presented to National Debtline, with 24 per cent of callers in arrears in 2014, up from 14 per cent in 2007.

27 August, 2015

DWP release statistics on mortality rates for those on out-of-work working age benefits

'Information cannot be used as evidence to support a link or otherwise between mortality and benefit receipt' says DWP

26 August, 2015

DWP confirms details of further roll out of PIP to those with long term or indefinite DLA award

Claimants in a further 29 postcodes to be invited to claim from 1 September 2015

26 August, 2015

Unison vows to take fight over Employment Tribunal fees to Supreme Court 

Announcing the decision, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said - 'There is stark evidence that workers are being priced out of justice and it is women, the disabled and the low-paid who are being disproportionately punished. Our fight for fairness at work and access to justice for all will continue until these unfair and punitive fees are scrapped.'

26 August, 2015

House of Commons briefing on rent setting in social housing in England 

New briefing that explains key policy developments in relation to setting social housing rent levels in England since 2002.

26 August, 2015

House of Commons briefing on extending the Right to Buy 

New briefing explains the Government's proposal to extend the Right to Buy in England to assured tenants of housing associations, which requires primary legislation and will be included in a forthcoming Housing Bill.

26 August, 2015

Unison challenge to employment tribunal fees fails 

Court of Appeal rules that it cannot be inferred that a drop in the number of employment claims was entirely down to potential claimants unable to afford fees.

26 August, 2015

Almost 240,000 young people took up work experience between April 2012 and May 2015

New Youth Contract statistics also show that, during course of wage incentive programme, payments made for a total of just under 36,500 individuals

26 August, 2015

43,800 sanctions imposed on lone parent income support claimants in year to March 2015

New DWP statistics show that this represents 6 per cent of client base

25 August, 2015

Immigration Bill to include prison sentence of up to six months for illegal migrant workers 

BBC also reports Immigration Minister James Brokenshire as saying that forthcoming Bill will include provision for businesses employing illegal workers to be closed down, unlimited fines and wages being seized.

25 August, 2015

Scottish local authorities award 84,000 discretionary housing payment betweeen April and June 2015

New statistics also show that total value of awards spent or committed across Scotland was £40.5m

24 August, 2015

Iain Duncan Smith signals reform of WCA to focus 'on what a claimant can do and the support they'll need - and not just on what they can't do'

In speech today, Work and Pensions Secretary also pledges to halve gap between employment rate of disabled and non-disabled people

24 August, 2015

Local authorities invited to bid for share of £3.2m fund to support victims of domestic violence 

New DCLG funding for 'innovative and cost effective proposals to deliver accommodation based services for victims of abuse, and for services to help them access such support'.

24 August, 2015

TUC reports on Regulatory Policy Committee judgments concerning trade union reforms 

Union highlights three judgments by government appointed independent body which find that impact assessments about proposals are 'not fit for purpose'.

24 August, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

21 August, 2015

Sharp increase in number of employment issues dealt with by Citizens Advice Scotland 

Increase of 12 per cent between 2011 and 2015 includes issues relating to pay and entitlements, dispute resolution, and self-employment.

21 August, 2015

Low Pay Commission seeks evidence on proposed changes to National Minimum Wage 

Responses can be submitted online or by email up to 25 September 2015.

21 August, 2015

Meaning of co-owner in the State Pension Credit Regulations 2002

CPC/4510/2014
[2015] UKUT 389 (AAC)

21 August, 2015

Help with NHS optical charges and payments in Wales

New statutory instrument

20 August, 2015

Care and Support (Ordinary Residence) (Specified Accommodation) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New regulations that provide that care home accommodation qualifies as a specified type of accommodation for the purposes of establishing an adult's ordinary residence under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

19 August, 2015

Government to publish mortality statistics for people on out-of-work benefits

Statistics, which will cover the period from March 2003 to February 2014, to be published on 27 August 2015

19 August, 2015

House of Commons briefing on ‘pay to stay’ scheme 

New paper provides information on the ‘pay to stay’ scheme in England under which social landlords can charge tenants with an income of over £60,000 market or near market rents.

19 August, 2015

Bogus self-employment costing millions to workers and government, says Citizens Advice 

New report finds that as many as 460,000 people could be ‘bogusly self-employed’ meaning workers miss out on holiday pay, government loses tax revenue and responsible businesses could be undercut.

18 August, 2015

Local Government Ombudsman highlights need for regular reviews of care home residents’ assets 

Reminder to local authorities prompted by an investigation following a complaint about North East Lincolnshire Council.

18 August, 2015

Welsh Government announces continuation of ring-fence for mental health budget 

Decision follows review which concluded that the purpose of the ring-fence – to protect expenditure on mental health services – has largely been achieved.

18 August, 2015

Valuation Office publishes local reference rents as at 30 July 2015

Rents for residential properties in England listed by broad rental market area and property size

17 August, 2015

House of Commons briefing on private landlords’ duty to carry out immigration checks 

New paper sets out obligations for private sector landlords and letting agents, considers some of the concerns raised by landlord associations, sets out details of the ‘pilot’ testing of the policy and examines the further right to rent measures to be included in the forthcoming Immigration Bill.

17 August, 2015

PIP overtakes ESA as most common problem presented to Citizens Advice

'For too many people the system is not working', says Chief Executive

17 August, 2015

Young jobseeker’s allowance claimants to be sent to three-week ‘boot camp’

Measure to form part of 'no excuses' culture being created by cross-government Earn or Learn Taskforce, says Paymaster General

17 August, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

14 August, 2015

Reduction in both mortgage and landlord possession claims over last year 

However, new Ministry of Justice statistics show that proportion of landlord possession claims that are accelerated claims has risen sharply from 7 per cent in 1999 to 28 per cent in the second quarter of 2015.

14 August, 2015

Bed and breakfast accommodation never suitable for homeless children and young people 

New investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman finds that placing homeless young people in bed and breakfast accommodation – even in an emergency – breaches statutory guidance, which exists to ensure vulnerable young people are not left to cope unsupported, alone and at risk of exploitation.

13 August, 2015

House of Commons briefing on statutory homelessness in England 

New briefing provides statistics on statutory homelessness and explains local authorities' duties to assist homeless households. It also includes an overview of, and comment on, recent government policy in this area.

13 August, 2015

Competition and Markets Authority publishes final order on payday lending market 

Measures include requiring online payday lenders to publish details of products on at least one comparison website and requiring online and high street payday lenders to provide existing customers with summary of cost of borrowing.

13 August, 2015

Housing (Right to Buy) (Prescribed Forms) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument prescribes the form of certain notices under Part 5 of the Housing Act 1985 relating to the right to buy, and the particulars to be contained in those notices in Wales.

12 August, 2015

Acas publishes advice to employers on young workers 

New guide sets out special provisions that apply to younger employees including in relation to pay and hours worked.

12 August, 2015

More than 1.75m sanctions applied to jobseeker's allowance claimants since new regime began in October 2012

New DWP statistics also show that almost 67,000 sanctions applied to employment and support allowance claimants under new regime

12 August, 2015

Scottish Government working with DWP to implement changes to universal credit

Powers under Scotland Bill to be used to allow twice monthly payments to claimants and to pay housing element direct to social landlords

12 August, 2015

Cost of raising a child remains high at almost £150,000

New report from CPAG also finds that, although cost will rise less steeply in future years, state support for children will deteriorate sharply

12 August, 2015

Less than 90,000 claimants on universal credit caseload as of 9 July 2015

New DWP statistics also show that almost 175,000 claims have been made since benefit introduced in 2013, with just over 26,000 of those made in last four weeks

12 August, 2015

DWP confirms further details of personal independence payment roll-out

Disability living allowance claimants in a further three postcodes to be invited to claim from 17 August 2015

11 August, 2015

Better prevention of homelessness in Wales ‘sets an example for the rest of the UK’ 

New report from Crisis welcomes new Welsh legislation but warns that that welfare reforms could risk undermining any progress achieved and that the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill could significantly weaken the security of Welsh renters.

11 August, 2015

STUC to receive £100,000 to implement progressive workplace practices 

Scottish Government reports on award which forms part of its response to the Working Together review.

11 August, 2015

Care and Support (Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New statutory instrument makes further provision about duties on a local authority to assess an adult’s needs for care and support, a child’s needs for care and support and a carer’s needs for support.

11 August, 2015

Government considering extending proposed four year residence requirement for tax credits to all British citizens

BBC reports that planned extension, which may mean that those aged under 22 are not eligible, follows warning that limiting requirement to EU migrants would be open to legal challenge

10 August, 2015

UK Statistics Authority calls on DWP to provide more comprehensive analysis of sanction rates for JSA claimants

Recommendations include that Department should publish proportion of claimants sanctioned on yearly basis and ensure that all statements on sanctions are 'objective and impartial'

10 August, 2015

Immigration Minister announces crackdown on employers of illegal migrants 

BBC report James Brokenshire as warning that businesses employing illegal workers will be hit with 'the full force of government machinery'.

10 August, 2015

Local Government Association calls for council tax discount for carers 

Association proposes that those who provide at least an hour of unpaid care a week should be entitled to a reduction of £100 a year, estimating that a fully subscribed discount fund of £25m would support at least 250,000 hours of unpaid care per week, saving up to £220m a year.

10 August, 2015

Chief inspector of social care warns of broken care system that is failing carers 

Andrea Sutcliffe tells Observer that huge cuts in funding in recent years, and a lack of political leadership in dealing with the realities of an ageing population, have left the social care sector under 'stress and strain', with demoralised carers working long hours in difficult conditions for poor pay.

10 August, 2015

HA, R (On the Application Of) v London Borough of Ealing 

New High Court judgment that considers the lawfulness of the local authority’s housing allocations policy in establishing an absolute exclusion from the housing register for those who do not a 5 year residency requirement; and whether the policy unlawfully discriminates against women who are victims of domestic violence.

10 August, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

10 August, 2015

Pensions Minister calls on carers to sign up for carer’s credits

Baroness Altmann highlights that only 5 per cent of the 200,000 people who are eligible are currently receiving the national insurance credits

07 August, 2015

‘Right to rent’ pilot has been ineffective, new figures suggest 

Only seven landlords have been penalised in the nine months since the trial commenced in the West Midlands according to figures obtained by the Economist.

07 August, 2015

Whilst the current council tax system has many deficiencies, reform is a ‘major undertaking’ 

New academic review published by the Commission on Local Tax Reform, established jointly by the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

06 August, 2015

Government to end automatic right of public sector workers to have union fees paid direct from wages 

'In the 21st century era of direct debits and digital payments, public resources should not be used to support the collection of trade union subscriptions', says Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock.

06 August, 2015

Council wrong to use Working Time Directive to refuse funding for care by mother of disabled man 

Local Government Ombudsman finds that Councils must properly consider individual circumstances when they balance people’s choice to be cared for by a family member against the risk to their carer of working long hours,

06 August, 2015

16.7 per cent of jobseekers sanctioned in year up to April 2014

Guardian's yearly estimate is in contrast to DWP statistics showing monthly figure of 6 per cent

06 August, 2015

More than 62,000 households have had their housing benefit capped since April 2013

New DWP statistics also show that, of those who are no longer subject to the cap, 41 per cent are exempt due to a working tax credit claim

05 August, 2015

Doughty Street Chambers reports on victory in High Court for asylum seeker with care needs 

In first case taken under Care Act 2014, High Court confirms that local authorities continue to have duties to accommodate asylum seekers whose needs for care and support does not arise solely because of destitution or its anticipated effects.

05 August, 2015

TUC publishes report on work-life balance impacts of night working 

New report argues that employers must properly consider and address the implications for staff, and that decisions to extend night working should always involve consultation and negotiation with workers’ representatives to ensure fair and safe outcomes.

05 August, 2015

Acas publishes equality guides for employers 

New series of guides designed to help employers and managers identify, tackle and prevent discrimination in the workplace.

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.

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