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24 April, 2015

Regulation of Private Rented Housing (Designation of Licensing Authority) (Wales) Order 2015 

New regulations that designate the County Council of the City and County of Cardiff as the licensing authority for the whole of Wales for the purposes of Part 1 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

23 April, 2015

Zero-hour contracts and casualised employment are damaging family life 

New report from the Working Families free legal advice service helpline also highlights that in the months immediately following the introduction of fees for employment tribunals, claims for unfair dismissal fell by 65 per cent, and claims for sex or pregnancy discrimination fell by 80 per cent.

23 April, 2015

Clarke, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Sutton 

New High Court judgment finds that the defendant's decision that the claimant - who has severe epilepsy, mental health and behavioual difficulties - should be expected to move from his home where he had a tenancy and care package, to a placement of the defendant's choosing in circumstances in which no care plan had been provided by the proposed non-specialist care provider, amounted to an unlawful interference with the claimant's rights to respect for home and private life.

23 April, 2015

Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 (Commencement No. 4) Order 2015 

New regulations that bring into force on 11 May 2015 sections 5(1) and 5(2) of the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2202 - local authority arrangements for residential accommodation outwith Scotland - and brings the remainder of section 5 into force on 24 June 2015.

23 April, 2015

Councils breaching legal limits on disabled facilities grant timescales 

New research by Leonard Cheshire Disability finds that, between 2011/2012 and 2013/2014, almost 2,500 disabled people a year waited over the time limit of a year to receive their disabled facilities grant after it had been approved, and that these delays were leaving disabled people living in inappropriate conditions and at risk of falls, and were driving up the costs of health and social care.

23 April, 2015

Failure to properly train home care workers risks ‘fatal consequences’ for service users 

New survey carried out by Unison finds that more than 1,000 care workers have not received proper training in dementia, administering medication or personal care tasks.

23 April, 2015

Way v Spectrum Property Care Ltd 

New Court of Appeal judgment that considers whether a warning given in bad faith can be relied on for the purpose of determining whether there is sufficient reason to dismiss an employee, whether the Employment Tribunal wrongly failed to consider that question and erred in deciding that the claimant was not unfairly dismissed, and whether the Employment Appeal Tribunal erred in law in dismissing his appeal from the decision of the Employment Tribunal.

23 April, 2015

Begum v Birmingham City Council 

New Court of Appeal judgment that considers whether a claimant, who was awarded £75k damages following a council's failure to meet its statutory duty to disclose structural defects to tenant purchaser under Right to Buy, should have to contribute towards costs due to having initially brought the claim for negligence and misrepresentation which was the incorrect legal cause of action but was based upon substantially the same facts.

22 April, 2015

Problems with benefits remain the largest driver of foodbank use, says the Trussell Trust

New figures also highlight that more than one million food parcels were provided in the last year, an increase of 19 per cent

22 April, 2015

Wenman v The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Anor 

In new judgment, High Court considers application for quashing of dismissal of appeal against refusal of planning permission for Romany gypsies to establish caravan site for residential purposes and, in particular, whether Inspector had adopted a flawed approach to the National Planning Policy Framework.

22 April, 2015

Personal insolvencies in Scotland at a ten year low 

New Accountant in Bankruptcy figures for fourth quarter of 2014-2015 include that personal insolvencies fell 15.2 per cent from the same period of the previous year.

20 April, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

17 April, 2015

Just over 85,000 people have made a claim for universal credit since April 2013

However, new DWP statistics show that, of these, only 52,000 have progressed to start on the benefit

17 April, 2015

AM, R (on the application of) v The London Borough of Havering & Ors 

New High Court decision finds that where a local housing authority - the 'originating authority' - places a family in another local authority - the 'receiving authority' - then the receiving authority has primary responsibility for assessing the children as children in need and has the power to accommodate them, but the originating authority has the primary duty to provide short-term housing.

17 April, 2015

28,000 benefit cap cases to be revised following benefit uprating

New housing benefit guidance

17 April, 2015

Black and Asian workers more likely to be in low-paid and insecure jobs 

New report form the TUC - Living on the Margins - shows that the number of black and Asian workers in low-paid jobs increased by 12.7 per cent between 2011 and 2014 compared to a rise of 1.8 per cent rise for white workers, and the number of black and Asian employees doing agency jobs increased by 38 per cent compared to a 16 per cent rise for white workers over the same period.

16 April, 2015

Branwell v Valuation Office Agency 

New High Court judgment that considers whether a property in poor order was a 'hereditament' and therefore liable for council tax.

15 April, 2015

HMRC’s failure to properly deal with a tax credits appeal

CTC/636/2014
[2015] UKUT 81 (AAC)

15 April, 2015

Najim v London Borough of Enfield 

New Court of Appeal judgment that considers whether withholding small sums of rent for repairs led to the non-renewal of an assured short-hold tenancy, and whether that in turn meant that the tenants were intentionally homeless.

15 April, 2015

Government publishes latest data on users of the Independent Living Fund 

Report contains information about how many people currently use the Fund for the quarter to the end of March 2015, broken down into gender, age, ethnicity, household circumstances and geographical distribution.

14 April, 2015

Community Care related measures in the Conservative Party Manifesto 2015

Key pledges include a guarantee that people will not have to sell their house in order to pay for residential social care.

14 April, 2015

Housing related measures in the Conservative Party Manifesto 2015

Key pledges include extending the Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

14 April, 2015

Employment related measures in the Conservative Party Manifesto 2015

Key pledges include give working parents of three and four year-olds 30 hours of free childcare a week.

14 April, 2015

Welfare benefit and tax credits measures in the Conservative Party election manifesto

Manifesto 2015 promises 'strong leadership, a clear economic plan, a brighter more secure future'

13 April, 2015

Debt related measures in the Labour Party Manifesto 2015

Key pledges include the introduction of a levy on payday lenders.

13 April, 2015

Welfare benefit and tax credits measures in the Labour Party election manifesto

'Manifesto 2015: Britain can be better' outlines 'a plan to reward hard work, share prosperity and build a better Britain'

13 April, 2015

Employment related measures in the Labour Party Manifesto 2015

Key pledges include raising the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019.

13 April, 2015

Community care related measures in the Labour Party Manifesto 2015

Key pledges include bringing services for physical health, mental health and social care into a single system.

13 April, 2015

Housing related measures in the Labour Party Manifesto 2015

Key pledges include legislation to make three year tenancies the norm.

13 April, 2015

Entitlement to DLA on grounds of severe mental impairment following brain injury after the age of 30

DWP issues new guidance following Upper Tribunal's decision in CDLA/1079/2012

13 April, 2015

DWP confirms further details of personal independence payment roll-out

Benefit to be extended to existing DLA claimants in 49 additional postcode areas between May and July 2015

13 April, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

09 April, 2015

Growth in use of food banks directly linked to welfare cuts and sanctions, say academics

British Medical Journal article finds that food banks more likely to be established in areas affected by cuts and that rise in use is concentrated in areas where claimants are experiencing more sanctions

09 April, 2015

Relevance of a claim of specialism for a medical member of a tribunal

CI/143/2014
[2015] UKUT 98 (AAC)

09 April, 2015

Tribunal’s duty to follow Upper Tribunal’s directions on remitted case

CE/3614/2014
[2015] UKUT 116 (AAC)

08 April, 2015

Most councils will not ring fence independent living fund resources 

Disability Rights UK publishes results of Freedom of Information requests sent to all local authorities in England with social care responsibilities.

07 April, 2015

Almost 60 per cent of ESA claimants sanctioned between October 2013 and September 2014 had mental health problems

Figures included in DWP response to freedom of information request also show that total number of ESA sanctions for that period had more than doubled in comparison to year before

07 April, 2015

Half a million more people summonsed for non payment of council tax in 2013/2014 

Independent reports on response to freedom of information request revealing that, following abolition of council tax benefit, summonses for non-payment of council tax increased by 30 per cent in local authorities requiring minimum payments, whilst the increase was 9 per cent in local authorities that provided support for the full council tax bill.

07 April, 2015

Shared parental leave regulations come into force 

Department of Business Innovation and Skills highlights that eligible couples whose child is due on or after 5 April 2015 can share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay in the first year of their child’s life.

07 April, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

02 April, 2015

Nzolameso (Appellant) v City of Westminster 

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.

02 April, 2015

48 per cent of individuals live in a household receiving means-tested benefits when monitored over time

New research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies highlights the importance of looking at the impact of tax and benefit reforms across individuals' lifetimes

02 April, 2015

2.3 million low income families adversely affected by council tax support changes

New Policy Institute also finds that from April 2015, 250 councils require all residents to pay some council tax regardless of income, up from 229 in 2013/2014

02 April, 2015

Increase in rate of deduction that can be made by direct earnings attachment to be delayed

New edition of HB Direct confirms that DWP will not be implementing legislation introducing changes from 6 April 2015 until negotiations with payroll software industry completed

02 April, 2015

First chief executive of new Independent Living Fund Scotland appointed 

Scottish government announces that Peter Scott, currently Chief Executive of ENABLE Scotland, will take up post in June.

02 April, 2015

Relying on property wealth to pay for care in old age is unsustainable 

New report from the National Housing Federation calls for affordable homes designed for older people with integrated care services to be built, and say that it’s essential that homes designed to suit older people are given as much priority as homes designed for first-time buyers and younger families.

02 April, 2015

Help with NHS costs in Scotland

New statutory instrument

02 April, 2015

Regulatory framework requirements for social housing in England from 1 April 2015 

Information from the Homes and Communities Agency about the regulatory framework which is made up of regulatory requirements, codes of practice, and regulatory guidance.

01 April, 2015

New debt law comes into force in Scotland 

Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act introduces a suite of measures, including the Minimal Asset Process, which offers debt relief quickly and at less than half the cost of an application for bankruptcy under the previous equivalent scheme for those on low incomes.

01 April, 2015

Scottish Housing Quality Standard becomes a requirement for social landlords 

Introduced in 2004 as a target, it is now required that social landlords ensure tenants’ homes are energy efficient, free from serious disrepair, have good condition kitchens and bathrooms and meet health and safety guidelines.

01 April, 2015

Housing benefit should be excluded from universal credit in Scotland, says Shelter Scotland

New research also recommends that housing benefit should be redesigned in order to give people more choice and responsibility over their housing

01 April, 2015

New LSE report considers effects of welfare reforms on social housinng landlords and tenants 

Report's finding include that bedroom tax has led to empty homes in some parts of the country as many social landlords in the North and the Midlands have surplus larger properties, and that often tenants simply can’t find a smaller unit to move too.

01 April, 2015

Carers UK welcomes new rights for carers, but remains concerned over funding 

As new Care Act changes come into force today, which put rights of unpaid carers on the same legal footing as rights of those with care needs, and provide stronger assessment rights for parents caring for disabled children, Carer's UK is calling for enough funding to be put in place to make the new rights a reality for families.

01 April, 2015

Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014 (Consequential Amendments) Order 2015 

New statutory instrument amends (subject to certain savings for transitional purposes) primary legislation that currently underpins the provision of care and support for adults and carer support in England. The amendments mean that the current social care legislation will no longer apply in relation to England but will continue to apply in relation to Wales.

01 April, 2015

New Rent Standard Guidance 

Guidance expands upon the Rent Standard, explaining how social housing rents are set and covers many other aspects of rent policy and interpretation.

01 April, 2015

Number of people contacting StepChange Debt Charity has risen 56 per cent since 2012 

New figures from StepChange also show that debt problems are rising fastest among single parents and under-25s, and an increasing proportion of the charity's clients are in part time work and private rented accommodation.

01 April, 2015

Care Act comes into force without adequate funding, warns Care and Support Alliance 

The Care Act is a bold attempt to reform the system, says Care and Support Alliance, but without more funding, thousands of disabled and older people will continue to be cut out of the care system and denied access to things as basic as getting up, getting dressed and getting out of the house.

31 March, 2015

Local Government Association recommends replacing Work Programme with locally devolved schemes

New report argues that services run by central government give insufficient freedom to local areas to meet local needs and ambitions

31 March, 2015

Good workplace practices can spot and resolve mental health issues, says TUC 

New report finds that many employers do not deal with mental health issues and that this may lead to many people losing their job and failing to find new work as a result of the stigma associated with mental health issues.

31 March, 2015

Homelessness applications in Scotland continue to fall 

New Scottish Government statistics show that Scottish Local Authorities received around 7,900 applications for homelessness assistance during October to December 2014, 5 per cent lower than in the same period in 2013.

31 March, 2015

Extension of JSA sickness periods

New DWP guidance

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