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11 February, 2016

DWP confirms details of universal credit roll-out to the full digital service

Phases 1 and 2 will take place between May and December 2016

10 February, 2016

Lord Freud confirms that benefit cap reductions are to be introduced from autumn 2016

Government also says that changes to the level of the cap will not be referred to the Social Security Advisory Committee

10 February, 2016

Households in receipt of carer’s allowance or guardian’s allowance to be exempt from the benefit cap

Government announces that regulations to give effect to exemptions will be brought forward later this year

10 February, 2016

DWP publishes results of 2014/2015 ‘claimant service and experience’ survey

For the first time, analysis also presents views and experiences of claimants in receipt of universal credit and personal independence payment

09 February, 2016

Trade Union Bill raises a number of potential human rights concerns, says JCHR 

Introducing its report - Legislative Scrutiny: Trade Union Bill - Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights Harriet Harman said - 'Assuming the Bill passes its remaining stages we recommend that this be subject to post legislative scrutiny at an early stage, to ensure that the measures are both proportionate and in compliance with human rights laws'

09 February, 2016

Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 

New regulations that amend the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993 by prescribing a new form of a Blue Badge and increase the fee for a badge to £10.00 as part of proposed administrative improvements to the Blue Badge service.

09 February, 2016

Final local government finance settlement for 2016/2017 confirms extra £3.5bn for adult social care 

Department for Communities and Local Government highlights that up to £2bn will come from a 2 per cent social care precept in council tax - the equivalent of £23 a year on an average Band D home in 2016/2017 – to provide dedicated caring for the growing elderly population.

09 February, 2016

Edwards & Ors, R (on the application of) v Birmingham City Council 

New High Court judgment which finds that statistical figures do not give any support to the proposition that, as a policy or approach in practice, Birmingham City Council is systemically turning away homeless applicants.

08 February, 2016

More tax credit mandatory reconsideration requests were received in the last two months of 2015 than in whole of preceding year

Figures provided in response to written questions by Work and Pensions Committee chair about performance of Concentrix

08 February, 2016

Scottish Government request urgent clarification of scope of social sector housing benefit changes

Changes will have a 'catastrophic impact' on vulnerable groups, says Social Justice Secretary

08 February, 2016

‘Thousands of older people at the mercy of care home price rises’, says Citizens Advice 

Analysis finds that yearly care home fees increased on average by £900 across England in the last financial year, but that 8 per cent of care homes in England give only a week’s notice that their fees are going to rise.

08 February, 2016

DWP publishes new housing benefit performance measurement good practice guide

Guide is designed to 'continue to ensure the provision of timely and accurate housing benefit payments and information'

08 February, 2016

Welsh Government confirms Welsh Independent Living Grant set to continue 

£27m being made available to maintain support for more than 1,600 disabled people in Wales to live independently.

08 February, 2016

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

08 February, 2016

Bill, that proposed restricting entitlement to benefits for EU and EEA nationals, withdrawn

'Sad reality' that measures can't be introduced until the UK leaves the European Union, says sponsor of Private Member's Bill

08 February, 2016

Subscriptions user guide

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05 February, 2016

Work of Illegal Money Lending Teams to be funded by levy on consumer credit firms from 2017 

Amendment introduced to Bank of England and Financial Services Bill - Part 20B - on second reading in the House of Commons.

05 February, 2016

Carer’s (Scotland) Bill passed 

New Act makes provision about carers, including the identification of carers’ needs for support through adult carer support plans and young carer statements, the provision of support to carers, the enabling of carer involvement in certain services, the preparation of local carer strategies, the establishment of information and advice services for carers, and for connected purposes.

04 February, 2016

Government should set a single rate for out-of-work benefits, says Reform thinktank

New report recommends that savings from rate reduction should be reinvested into PIP and into support services

04 February, 2016

MSPs say 'unacceptable' that UK Ministers have failed to answer its questions on the welfare reform programme in Scotland

UK Minister for Employment says 'parliamentary commitments' have prevented her meeting the Committee and will continue to do so up to dissolution on 23 March

04 February, 2016

Welsh Government calls on UK Government to exempt tenants in supported housing from planned housing benefit cuts

Minister writes to Lord Freud to say policy is 'unjust and counterproductive'

04 February, 2016

Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016 

New regulations that extend blue badge eligibility to cover a person who has a mental disorder as defined by section 328 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and who is in receipt of a specified rate of the care component of disability living allowance, attendance allowance or the daily living component of personal independence payment.

04 February, 2016

21,000 households had their benefit capped in November 2015

New DWP statistics also show that only three local authorities outside London - Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh - are in the top twenty affected

04 February, 2016

Amendments to council tax reduction schemes in Scotland

New statutory instrument

04 February, 2016

Absence of housing options for single homeless people impacts on health and creates future costs 

New report from the IPPR puts forward recommendations for local but system-wide changes designed to empower tenants to have more control over their own journey, and to have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people who live in unsupported temporary accommodation.

04 February, 2016

National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Amendment (Scotland) (No. 2) Regulations 2016 

New regulations that amend the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992 so that the amounts of savings credit to be disregarded from income in accordance with paragraph 28G of Schedule 3 are increased from £6.00 and £9.00 to £6.15 and £9.25 respectively from 11th April 2016.

04 February, 2016

National Assistance (Sums for Personal Requirements) (Scotland) (No. 2) Regulations 2016 

New regulations that set the sum for personal requirements for the purposes of section 22(4) of the National Assistance Act 1948 as £25.80 per week.

04 February, 2016

Insolvency (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 

New Act to amend the law relating to insolvency, and for connected purposes.

04 February, 2016

One in five jobs in London now pay less than the London LIving Wage 

New report from the London Assembly Economy Committee also finds that the proportion of people employed on part-time and temporary contracts has increased from 25 per cent to 29 per cent since 2008.

04 February, 2016

Exploring recruitment and retention of social care support workers 

New report from Scottish Care highlights 40 individual case studies in which individual workers give their insight into what it means to care and outline the benefits that good care can bring to the lives of those who need support.

03 February, 2016

Prime Minister welcomes EU Council president's draft proposals for a 'new settlement' on social benefits and free movement

However, Mr Cameron acknowledges that 'none of this is agreed yet, none of the detail is fixed and there is more work to be done'

03 February, 2016

Age 65 cut off for DLA mobility component not contrary to EU law

CDLA/1956/2014
[2015] UKUT 687 (AAC)

03 February, 2016

Changes to work allowances in universal credit

New DWP guidance

03 February, 2016

2.1m working households to lose average of £1,600 a year as a result of the introduction of universal credit

New report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies highlights that this marks a reversal of the benefit's original intention

03 February, 2016

Council ordered to place Irish Traveller on housing register following challenge on local connection 

In a judicial review claim that was settled the day before trial, North Somerset Council has also been ordered to undertake a review of its housing allocations scheme, specifically with reference to section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

03 February, 2016

Scottish Government puts forward funding deal to enable living wage to be paid to care workers 

Finance Secretary John Swinney writes to each of Scotland's 32 Council leaders giving a deadline of February 9 to respond to the deal.

03 February, 2016

Roll-out of universal credit still has ‘a long way to go’, says Public Accounts Committee

New progress update finds DWP is 'either unable or unwilling to level with parliament and the public about universal credit'

03 February, 2016

Data sharing between universal credit and local authorities to support claims for council tax reduction to be implemented next month

However, Employment Minister confirms that there will be no automated applications for council tax reduction via universal credit

02 February, 2016

Funding, commission and delivery of money advice should be targeted to help people plan ahead 

New report from Citizens Advice finds that a gap in preventative money advice - which can help people avoid financial difficulties - is caused by advice not being offered at crucial times, being see as a last resort, and being too narrow in not addressing related issues such as housing or work.

02 February, 2016

New tool to enable PIP assessments to be recorded electronically now up and running

Governmentcomputing.com also reports that a mobile version will be introduced in the spring

02 February, 2016

Council tax increases not enough to bridge shortfall in social care funding 

Community Care reports that local authorities in England face a significant shortfall in adult social care funding in the coming financial year despite the government allowing them to raise council tax by 2 per cent to fund adult services.

02 February, 2016

Bone v North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

New Court of Appeal judgment that considers issues relating to the application of section 146 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, as amended, that provides that a worker has the right not to be subjected to any detriment on grounds related to union membership or activities.

02 February, 2016

Government says that 'a whole lot of other benefits' are available to women affected by acceleration of changes to state pension age

Abolition of the default retirement age also means that people can work for as long as they wish, says Work and Pensions Minister

02 February, 2016

Government launches trial of personal budgets for recipients of Access to Work support

Initiative designed to provide people with more choice and more control over the support they receive to help them to start or stay in work

02 February, 2016

Bedroom tax does not discriminate against victims of domestic violence, says DWP Minister

Justin Tomlinson responds in the Commons to last week's Court of Appeal judgment in Rutherford & Ors

01 February, 2016

Right to Rent scheme goes live across England ahead of UK-wide roll-out 

New rules, introduced under the Immigration Act 2014, mean that landlords - and those who are subletting their property or taking in lodgers - need to carry out checks on all new adult tenants to make sure they have the right to rent property in the country.

01 February, 2016

Employment case law round up

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

01 February, 2016

Northern Ireland Minister announces £1.6m support package for care sector 

Health Minister Simon Hamilton confirms the release of additional funding by the Health and Social Care Board to provide a support package for recruitment in the care sector.

01 February, 2016

Restricting housing benefit and pension credit entitlement to 4 weeks in the event of temporary absence from Great Britain

Social Security Advisory Committee launches consultation on draft regulations

01 February, 2016

Amendments to council tax reduction schemes in Wales

New statutory instrument

29 January, 2016

Government evidence to the Low Pay Commission 2016 

New report sets out the government’s evidence and analysis to the Low Pay Commission on national minimum wage policy.

29 January, 2016

Scottish Government calls on UK Government to halt proposed changes to PIP eligibility

Letter from Social Justice Secretary says consultation process has been rushed and has not given disabled people a sufficient voice

29 January, 2016

Health and Social Care Act 2012 (Commencement No. 10) Order 2016 

New statutory instrument commences provisions to give the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care the power to charge for advice, reports or investigations it has been commissioned to carry out by the Secretary of State, the Welsh Ministers, the Scottish Ministers or a relevant Northern Ireland department.

29 January, 2016

Government publishes local housing allowance rates from April 2016

New guidance from the Valuation Office Agency

29 January, 2016

Individual insolvencies in 2015 down 19 per cent compared to 2014 

New statistics from the Insolvency Service report that change was mainly driven by a 23 per cent decrease in individual voluntary arrangements - however there was also a 22 per cent decrease in bankruptcies and a 9 per cent decrease in debt relief orders.

29 January, 2016

Three quarters of local authorities in England still limiting homecare visits to just 15 minutes 

New report from Unison found that the limited time allocated means the majority of workers (85 per cent) said they regularly didn’t even have time for a conversation during some homecare visits, one third (32 per cent) said they have no time to address people’s personal hygiene needs such as washing, and a quarter (24 per cent) have no time to take people to the toilet.

29 January, 2016

80,000 council homes could be lost by 2020 driving up housing benefit bill by £210m 

New analysis from the Local Government Association estimates that 80,000 of the 88,000 homes sold under Right to Buy by 2020 will not be replaced as a result of new housing measures, such as the loss of £2.2bn from council housing budgets by 2020 due to social housing rent cuts.

28 January, 2016

Councils across England are struggling to cope with numbers of single homeless people 

New report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Crisis finds that a majority of councils support an approach similar to that introduced in Wales, where help must be provided to anyone faced with the loss of their home and not just those deemed a ‘priority’, such as families with children.

28 January, 2016

Direct payments for residential care delayed until 2020 

Planned roll-out in 2016 deferred for four years, but pilot areas will be able to continue offering direct payments to care home residents.

28 January, 2016

New Northern Ireland strategy to increase tenant involvement in delivery of social housing services 

Tenant Participation Strategy 2015-2020 sets out what social landlords, including the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Housing Associations, should do in order to give tenants the opportunity and choice to participate in the decisions that affect them, and additionally sets out how government will help.

28 January, 2016

Personal insolvencies in Scotland have dropped 11 per cent on the same period a year ago 

New figures from Accountant in Bankruptcy also show that the number of new debt payment programmes approved under the Debt Arrangement Scheme increased 13.4 per cent to 517 this quarter after several quarters of decline.

28 January, 2016

Overnight care and Sanctuary Scheme bedroom tax cases to be appealed to the Supreme Court

Supreme Court has confirmed that the cases will be heard from 29 February to 2 March 2016

28 January, 2016

One per cent rent cut in social housing to be deferred for 12 months for supported accommodation 

Minister for Housing and Planning Brandon Lewis confirms in House of Commons debate yesterday that Lord Freud has written to all interested parties outlining agreement.

28 January, 2016

Lords vote to block the abolition of work-related activity component in ESA and limited capability for work element in universal credit

Amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill is passed by 283 votes to 198

28 January, 2016

Opposition day motion on housing benefit and supported housing defeated

MPs vote against motion calling for supported housing to be exempt from housing benefit capping in the social sector by 286 votes to 239

28 January, 2016

Universal credit claimants are asked at their first interview if they are receiving council tax reduction, says Employment Minister

Claimants who are not receiving reduction are signposted to make a claim though their local authority

27 January, 2016

Consultation launched on housing adaptations scheme in Northern Ireland 

View sought on services that enable people with disabilities to remain at home and enhance their independence within their local community.

27 January, 2016

Welsh Government announces £3m to support implementation of Wales’ new social care law 

Funding made available through the 'Sustainable Social Services: Delivering Transformation' grant for 2016/2017 will support the transition to new arrangements under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

27 January, 2016

National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2016 

New regulations that introduce, from 1 April 2016, the National Living Wage of £7.20 for adults aged 25 years or older, amend other rates to £6.70 for those aged 21-24, £5.30 for those aged 18-20 and £3.87 for those aged under 18, and additionally increase the financial penalty imposed for underpayment of the national minimum wage from 100 per cent to 200 per cent of the arrears owed.

27 January, 2016

Samin v Westminster City Council 

New Supreme Court judgment finds refusal of housing assistance to Austrian worker - who was incapable of work and had not worked for 12 months in the UK - was not unlawful discrimination contrary to article 18.1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and additionally the UK as the host member state was not required to carry out an inquiry into proportionality.

27 January, 2016

13 per cent increase in complaints and enquiries to Ombudsman about social housing allocations 

Local Government Ombudsman reports that it upheld 42 per cent of cases where it carried out a detailed investigation, with common complaints including delay in dealing with applications or a change in circumstances, decisions not in line with allocation schemes, failure to consider relevant information, and not notifying people of their right to request a review of a decision.

26 January, 2016

Scottish Government outlines new model for distribution of funding for the Scottish Welfare Fund

New model will see money allocated to local authorities based on levels of deprivation.

26 January, 2016

Soor v London Borough of Redbridge 

New High Court judgment that considers an appeal against a Magistrates' Court's decision committing the appellant to prison for 90 days, suspended on payment of £100 per month, in respect of his liability for unpaid council tax.

26 January, 2016

House of Lords votes against government's proposed abolition of current system of measuring child poverty

In a debate on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill, peers vote by 290 to 198 in favour of amendment moved by the Bishop of Durham

26 January, 2016

Lord Freud announces the government's intention to exempt recipients of carer’s allowance from the benefit cap

Amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to be brought forward at Third Reading

26 January, 2016

DWP publishes an evaluation of the ‘In-work progression advice trial’

Findings include that some participants did not take up the offer of help because they did not understand what was being offered, did not see the offer as relevant to them or were not interested in career progression

25 January, 2016

Voluntary Right to Buy schemes launch as part of pilot being delivered by 5 housing associations 

Pilot will help inform the design and implementation of the main scheme before it is rolled out across the country following the passage of the Housing and Planning Bill.

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