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22 May, 2015

85 per cent of carers in Scotland say that caring has had negative impact on their health 

New research from Carers Scotland also finds that 41 per cent of carers in Scotland want increasing financial support for families providing unpaid care to be the government’s top priority.

22 May, 2015

Comparison of homelessness duties across the nations 

New House of Commons Library briefing paper explains and compares the legal duties on local authorities (and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive) to assist people presenting as homeless in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

22 May, 2015

Financial Conduct Authority taking action against three fee-charging debt management companies 

The Financial Conduct Authority is warning customers of three debt management firms - Sterling Financial Security Limited, Haydon Associates Debt Management Consultants Limited, and Clear View Finance Limited - to check their debt situation with their creditors and find out exactly what they owe.

22 May, 2015

One in five families struggling to provide basics due to cuts in children’s benefits

End Child Poverty coalition calls for a 'triple lock' on children's benefits and tax credits to help reduce child poverty

22 May, 2015

Complaints about payday loans rose by nearly a half during 2014/2015 

Annual review from the Financial Ombudsman Service also reports that 63 per cent of new complaints were about payment protection insurance (PPI) despite the total number of PPI complaints falling by about half.

22 May, 2015

Disabled workers still at a significant disadvantage compared to other workers 

In a new report, Disability and Employment, the TUC calls for action to reduce the disability employment gap highlighting that disabled people have much lower employment rates than non-disabled people - 31 per cent lower from 2008 to 2013 - and people with mental illness related disabilities are among the least likely to be employed.

21 May, 2015

SSAC calls on government to ensure that localised social security is sustainably funded, protects vulnerable groups and is consistently applied

New report also highlights need for cross-departmental approach and recommends that National Audit Office be asked to audit provision every three years, starting this year

21 May, 2015

Requirement for landlords to check tenant’s immigration status to be rolled out nationwide 

Prime Minister David Cameron, in his speech today on immigration, also announces the introduction of a new mandatory licensing regime aimed at cracking down on 'unscrupulous landlords who cram houses full of illegal migrants'.

21 May, 2015

Illegal working to become a criminal offence 

Prime Minister David Cameron, in his speech today on immigration, also announces that wages paid to illegal immigrants will be seized as proceeds of crime.

21 May, 2015

Proportion of disability benefit claims being made primarily for mental and behavioural reasons has increased substantially

New research paper from the Institute for Fiscal Studies also shows that disability benefit receipt more related to education and less to age than in the past

21 May, 2015

16 per cent of privately rented homes are physically unsafe 

New report from Citizens Advice also finds that 8 per cent of rented homes have serious damp, 10 per cent pose a risk of a dangerous fall, and 6 per cent are excessively cold.

20 May, 2015

Less than a quarter of Work Programme attachments have led to job outcome

New DWP figures supplied in response to freedom of information request

20 May, 2015

Too many people dying without dignity, says Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman 

New report highlights cases where people's suffering could have been avoided or lessened with the right care and treatment, and says that end of life care could be improved for 335,000 people a year in England.

20 May, 2015

Scottish Government announces £3m funding for ‘Active and Independent Living Programme’ 

Three year programme to find new and innovative ways to help people with illness, disability or injury to lead healthy lives and stay in their own homes.

20 May, 2015

Haile v London Borough of Waltham Forest 

In a new judgment, the Supreme Court allows Ms Haile's appeal against a decision that she was intentionally homeless as a result of leaving a hostel for single people in 2011, finding instead that she would not have been able to remain in the hostel after having a baby in 2012 and so her leaving it was not the cause of her homelessness.

19 May, 2015

Welsh Government announces £108m funding to improve social housing 

Funding to be used by local authorities and Registered Social Landlords to improve people’s homes and ensure they are safe, secure and meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard.

19 May, 2015

Carers UK calls on new government to make carers a priority 

Call made in context of new research which finds that almost half of carers are finding it hard to make ends meet and that eight in ten said caring had had a negative effect on their health.

19 May, 2015

Valuation Office publishes local reference rents as at 31 January 2015

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

18 May, 2015

Chancellor to outline further cuts to welfare bill in second 2015 Budget on 8 July

Reforms will make benefit system 'fair to the people that pay for it', says George Osborne

18 May, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

15 May, 2015

Bradbury v British Broadcasting Corporation 

New High Court decision that considers whether imposing a one per cent cap on increases to pensionable salary through the mechanism of the pay award breached the implied duties of the contract of employment.

15 May, 2015

Hartley & Ors v King Edward VI College 

New Court of Appeal decision that considers how much pay an employer can withhold when a teacher goes on strike.

15 May, 2015

DWP announces successful applications to the Fraud and Error Reduction Incentive Scheme bid fund

New HB guidance highlights that 32 applications were successful and awarded a total of just over £3m

14 May, 2015

Guide to regulation of registered providers 

An overview of the social housing regulator’s role and objectives which gives registered providers of social housing information on: the regulator’s role, the regulatory framework, regulatory standards, approach to regulation, and intervention and enforcement.

14 May, 2015

UK Government's proposed welfare provisions do not yet meet the 'spirit and substance' of the Smith Commission, says Scottish Parliament's Devolution Committee

Interim report on how Smith Commission's recommendations have been translated into proposed law calls on new UK Government to develop further legislation in co-operation with stakeholders in Scotland

14 May, 2015

Lyttle and Others (Judgment) 

New Court of Justice of the European Union judgment finds that the term ‘establishment’ in Article 1(1)(a)(ii) of Council Directive 98/59/EC (relating to collective redundancies) must be interpreted in the same way as the term in Article 1(1)(a)(i) of that directive; and that Article 1(1)(a)(ii) must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation that lays down an obligation to inform and consult workers in the event of the dismissal, within a period of 90 days, of at least 20 workers from a particular establishment of an undertaking, and not where the aggregate number of dismissals across all of the establishments or across some of the establishments of an undertaking over the same period reaches or exceeds the threshold of 20 workers.

14 May, 2015

More than 58,000 households have had their benefit capped since April 2013

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

14 May, 2015

Scottish Housing Regulator publishes 2015/2016 work plans 

Plan sets out vision for successful social landlords delivering good outcomes for tenants, homeless people and others.

14 May, 2015

Reduction in total number of mortgage possession and landlord possession claims over last year 

However, new statistics from the Ministry of Justice also show that landlord repossessions by county court bailiffs have increased 8 per cent over same quarter last year.

14 May, 2015

Almost twice as much benefit was overpaid due to error than was lost due to fraud in 2014/2015

New DWP statistics also show that £1.4bn was underpaid, of which £0.5bn was due to official error

14 May, 2015

Homelessness (Intentionality) (Specified Categories) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New regulations that specify the categories of applicants for the purposes of deciding whether to have regard to intentionality under section 78 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

14 May, 2015

Homelessness (Review Procedure) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New regulations that make provision for the procedure to be followed under section 85 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 in connection with a review by a local housing authority of specific decisions relating to homelessness.

13 May, 2015

House of Commons Library briefing on Affordable Rents in England 

New briefing provides an overview of the affordable rent scheme under which tenancies in England are offered at up to 80 per cent of market rent levels within the local area.

13 May, 2015

House of Commons Library briefing on Flexible and Fixed-term Tenancies for Social Housing Tenants 

New briefing examines changes which came into force in April 2012 giving local authorities and housing associations the power to offer fixed-term tenancies to social housing tenants in England.

13 May, 2015

House of Commons Library briefing on Right to Buy in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 

New briefing examines the differences between the schemes following the devolution of housing policy to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

13 May, 2015

Hotak and others (Appellants)  v London Borough of Southwark and another (Respondents) 

New Supreme Court judgment finds that, in assessing vulnerability of homeless person, comparator is with an ordinary person and not the street homeless.

13 May, 2015

More than 60,000 sanctions applied to employment and support allowance claimants since new regime began in December 2012

New DWP statistics also show that, under new regime, more than 100,000 jobseeker's allowance claimants have been sanctioned at least three times

13 May, 2015

Just under 54,000 claimants on universal credit caseload as at 9 April 2015

New DWP statistics also highlight that less than 100,000 people have made a claim for the new benefit since April 2013

12 May, 2015

Greg Clark appointed as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 

In addition, Brandon Lewis re-appointed as Minister for Housing and Planning and Mark Francois appointed as Minister with responsibilities 'to be confirmed'.

12 May, 2015

Sajid Javid appointed as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 

In addition, Anna Soubry appointed as Minister for Business and Enterprise whilst Nick Boles re-appointed as Minister for Skills and Equalities with additional responsibility for trade union and employment law.

12 May, 2015

Alistair Burt appointed as Minister for Care and Support 

Former Under Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to join Department of Health under re-appointed Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt.

12 May, 2015

Average clearance time for PIP new claim falls from peak of 41 weeks in July 2014 to 15 weeks in March 2015

New DWP statistics also show that more than 150,000 new claims and DLA reassessments awaiting clearance

12 May, 2015

New ministerial line-up at the DWP confirmed

Justin Tomlinson, Priti Patel and Ros Altmann to join Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud

11 May, 2015

Permanent residence for EEA nationals and their families

DWP issues new guidance

11 May, 2015

DWP publishes equality analysis of changes to the Access to Work scheme

Analysis highlights that changes may discourage employers from employing disabled people, increasing the likelihood of unlawful discrimination and reducing equality of opportunity

11 May, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

11 May, 2015

Iain Duncan Smith re-appointed as Work and Pensions Secretary

Mr Duncan Smith says that he is 'delighted to have the opportunity to complete the vital welfare reforms that have already helped so many people back into work'

07 May, 2015

Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (Wales) Order 2015 

New regulations that specify what matters authorities must take into account in determining the suitability of accommodation, when B&B and shared accommodation are not suitable to be used for temporary accommodation, and when private rented sector accommodation is not suitable for discharging the duties under section 75 of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

06 May, 2015

Children’s benefits should be protected by a ‘triple lock’ to reduce child poverty

New report from CPAG in Scotland and Unison Scotland also highlights that six in ten children in poverty have a parent in work

06 May, 2015

Leaked DWP documents reveal ‘very, highly or extremely controversial’ potential cuts to benefits

Guardian reports on proposals drawn up in response to concerns that next government would struggle to keep to cap on welfare spending announced in Budget 2014

06 May, 2015

Nicolson, R (on the application of) v Tottenham Magistrates & Anor 

New High Court judgment that considers whether the costs claimed in obtaining a liability order for non-payment of council tax have been reasonably incurred by the local authority.

05 May, 2015

Housing (Wales) Act 2014 No.3 Commencement Order 2015 

New statutory instrument brings into force, on 27 April 2015, provisions of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 in relation to homelessness and makes consequential amendments and transitional provisions.

05 May, 2015

Commission on Local Tax Reform consults on future of council tax in Scotland 

Views sought on alternatives that would deliver a fairer system of local taxation to support the funding of services delivered by local government ahead of Commission's report to the Scottish Government and COSLA this autumn.

05 May, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

01 May, 2015

USDAW and Wilson (Judgment) 

Preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice - following a referral from the Court of Appeal - which considers the interpretation of Article 1(1)(a) of Council Directive 98/59/EC in respect of the meaning of 'establishment' and the method of calculating the number of workers made redundant.

01 May, 2015

Sharpe v The Bishop of Worcester 

New Court of Appeal judgment which finds that there is no employment contract between a Rector of the parish and the Bishop of the diocese in which that parish lies, nor can the Rector be a 'worker' under section 43K of the Employment Rights Act 1996 for the purpose of a 'whistle-blowing' claim.

01 May, 2015

CLFIS (UK) Ltd v Obe 

New Court of Appeal judgment that considers whether, in a case of age discrimination, someone can be unfairly dismissed by a person who was not themselves discriminatory, but who acted on a report from another person which may have been discriminatory.

30 April, 2015

Homeless applications in Northern Ireland down by 18 per cent 

New Department for Social Development figures include that 4,339 households presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during October to December 2014, a decrease of 964 (18 per cent) from the previous quarter.

30 April, 2015

Number of carers aged over 85 more than doubles in a decade whilst number getting support decreases 

New analysis by Carers UK and Age UK also shows that over half (55 per cent) of these over 85s are caring for 50 or more hours each week.

30 April, 2015

Whapples, R (on the application of) v Birmingham Crosscity Clinical Commissioning Group & Ors 

New Court of Appeal judgment considers whether the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group is obliged to pay for a private flat in which the appellant will receive 'NHS Continuing Healthcare'.

30 April, 2015

Number of people in poverty in UK has increased by 800,000 over last two years, says New Policy Institute

New estimates, building on last published statistics which were for 2012/2013, also show that number in poverty in working families is up by 300,000 and that number of tenants in poverty has risen by 750,000

29 April, 2015

Universal credit should include a second-earner work allowance to help address in-work poverty

New report from CPAG also recommends that the conditionality regime should take account of a parent's need for a work/family balance

29 April, 2015

University and College Union (Appellant) v The University of Stirling (Respondent) (Scotland) 

New Supreme Court judgment considers whether employees on limited term contracts, whose contracts come to an end within the relevant period, have been dismissed as redundant.

29 April, 2015

18.6 per cent decrease in bankruptcies in England and Wales compared to same quarter last year 

New statistics from the Insolvency Service also show a 5.1 per cent decrease in debt relief orders, and a 23.5 per cent decrease in individual voluntary arrangements over the same period.

29 April, 2015

Claimant not entitled to ‘export’ DLA mobility component to Spain

CDLA/2903/2014
[2015] UKUT 146 (AAC)

28 April, 2015

UK housing policy in breach of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 

New report from Just Fair consortium finds that the government is failing to meet its obligations to ensure the right to housing of its population so that everyone can enjoy a standard of living in homes that are adequate, safe and secure.

28 April, 2015

Welsh Government publishes Code of Guidance on housing allocation and homelessness 

New combined statutory guidance for members and staff of local authorities follows changes to homelessness legislation coming into force yesterday.

28 April, 2015

Welsh Government announces extra £20m in funding to help people remain in their own home 

£17.5m investment in Intermediate Care Fund to continue projects which have proven to be successful in helping older and vulnerable people remain in their own homes rather than go into hospital, with further £2.5m to identify areas of good practice and ensure they are spread across Wales.

28 April, 2015

Number of applications to Scottish Welfare Fund rose by 13 per cent in last year

New statistics also show that 10 per cent more crisis grants and 15 per cent more community care grants awarded between October and December 2014 than in same quarter in previous year

27 April, 2015

Welfare to work provider A4e sold in deal worth £34.5m

Acquisition will result in Staffline Group becoming one of the largest Work Programme providers in the UK

27 April, 2015

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

27 April, 2015

Help with NHS costs in Wales

New statutory instrument

27 April, 2015

‘Legal advice’ now available in Wales for anyone threatened with homelessness within 56 days 

Legal Aid Agency highlights changes introduced from today under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

27 April, 2015

New law to reduce homelessness comes into force in Wales 

Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister welcomes 'the most significant piece of homelessness law in well over 30 years', that places a duty on local authorities to work with people who are at risk of losing their home within 56 days to help find a solution to their problems.

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.

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