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02 July, 2015

Experiences of shared ownership 

New research that aims to understand more about shared ownership through considering stakeholder, resident and housing association experiences and perceptions of the tenure.

02 July, 2015

Financial support for kinship carers in Scotland 

New report from CPAG Scotland that looks at how the concordat commitment has impacted on Scottish kinship carers and the children for whom they care, and considers some of the challenges that lie ahead.

02 July, 2015

Government launches independent review of self-employment in the UK 

Review, which is expected to be published in early 2016, will report to the government on the challenges and opportunities for those who want to work for themselves.

02 July, 2015

More councils using bankruptcy orders to recover council tax arrears 

Research carried out my accountancy firm Moore Stephens also shows a large increase in local authorities using charging orders.

02 July, 2015

Comparison of homelessness duties in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland 

New House of Commons Library briefing note that 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.

02 July, 2015

Young carers miss or cut short on average 48 school days a year 

New report from Carers Trust Wales also finds that one quarter of young carers reported bullying and abuse in school because they were a carer.

02 July, 2015

Determination of ordinary residence disputes under the Care Act 2014 

Department of Health notice that sets out the Department's position on the determination of questions of ordinary residence referred to the Secretary of State under section 40 of the Care Act 2014, pending the department’s appeal to the Supreme Court in the case of Cornwall Council v Secretary of State for Health and Others (Cornwall) - judgment is due on 8 July 2015.

02 July, 2015

First regulations issued under Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015 

New regulations bring into force a number of provisions including imposing requirements to secure that health and social care services provided in the course of carrying on regulated activities do not cause avoidable harm, and imposing a new duty on relevant health or adult social care commissioners or providers to share information held about an individual where they consider that the disclosure is likely to facilitate the care provided to the individual and is in their best interests.

02 July, 2015

Tackling homelessness early can save thousands of pounds for every person helped 

New report from Crisis looks at the financial costs of sustained or repeated homelessness and concludes that the longer someone is homeless, or the more often they experience homelessness, the more they will cost the taxpayer.

02 July, 2015

DWP considering abolition of employment and support allowance work-related activity group

BBC reports on leaked proposal to bring payments for that group in line with jobseeker's allowance and replace the work capability assessment with a new 'employment capability assessment'

01 July, 2015

Gap between people’s incomes & amount needed to cover essential costs has widened dramatically since 2008

New research published by the JRF highlights that families are struggling to close the budget gap despite a pause in the rise of the cost of living

01 July, 2015

Government to introduce a ‘new and strengthened’ child poverty measure, announces Iain Duncan Smith

New legislation to be brought forward to replace the Child Poverty Act 2010

01 July, 2015

Insufficient affordable decent housing has led to poorer children living in inadequate housing 

Report from the UK Children's Commissioners recommends that the goverment should urgently address the need for adequate housing for lower-income families and end the use of inappropriate bed-and-breakfast style accommodation for families with children.

01 July, 2015

Changes to welfare system have failed to protect the most disadvantaged children from poverty, say Children's Commissioners

Reductions to household income have led to food and fuel poverty and the sharply increased use of foodbanks by families

01 July, 2015

DWP issues guidelines to local authorities on which cases should be referred to Single Fraud Investigation Service

New edition of HB Direct advises that local authority should be sure that claimant has either failed to disclose a change in order to get benefit or has deliberately lied before making referral.

01 July, 2015

Acas launches guide for small firms on how to handle staff pay 

New guide covers issues on pay, what to do during staff absences, wage deductions and overpayments and breaks down the most common employment issues into a series of steps to be used by a manager or supervisor.

01 July, 2015

Welsh Government replaces abolished UK Independent Living Fund 

New £20m fund to support more than 1,600 disabled people in Wales with their care needs comes into operation today,

01 July, 2015

MPs vote against further devolution of welfare powers to Scottish Government

Changes to Scotland Bill defeated during House of Commons Committee Stage include new clauses providing for full devolution of housing benefit and giving Scottish Government power to introduce new benefits

01 July, 2015

Factors to consider when assessing lower rate mobility component for a child

CDLA/5184/2014
[2015] UKUT 284 (AAC)

30 June, 2015

Scottish homelessness statistics show fall for sixth consecutive year 

Scottish Government says that, as well as showing a four per cent fall in homelessness applications in the last year, new statistics recording prevention demonstrate the Housing Options approach has been the reason for homelessness consistently falling.

30 June, 2015

Disability Rights UK statement on closure of Independent Living Fund from today 

Charity warns that, with money from Fund being transferred to local authorities without ring fencing, some disabled people will no longer receive any support at all and others will find their support package reduced.

30 June, 2015

DWP issues advice to people whose state pensions and welfare benefits are paid into Greek bank accounts

Department to contact those affected and offer help with transferring payments to a non-Greek bank account

30 June, 2015

Less than a third of short term benefit advance applications successful

Figures for January to December 2014 and April 2014 to February 2015 supplied by Minister for Employment in written answer to parliament

29 June, 2015

Government's changes to child benefit mean that family with two children already £5.95 a week worse off, says TUC

New analysis also shows that loss is likely to be more than £9 per week by time of next election irrespective of any further changes

29 June, 2015

Employment case law

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

26 June, 2015

Housing (Right to Buy and Right to Acquire) (Limits on Discount) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2015 

New regulations that amend the existing maximum rates of discount available in relation to the exercise of the right to buy under Part 5 of the Housing Act 1985 and the right to acquire under section 16 of the Housing Act 1996.

26 June, 2015

Wilson v Williams [2015] EWHC 1841 (Ch) 

New High Court judgment that considers whether the terms on which a suspension of bankruptcy was granted were too wide.

26 June, 2015

Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provision) Order 2015 

New regulations that bring into force various provisions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 including the requirement for landlords to undertake an electrical safety inspection.

26 June, 2015

Estimated cost of universal credit rises by £3bn to £15.85bn

Major Project Authority annual report maintains the project's 'amber/red' rating and also extends estimated end date to April 2020

26 June, 2015

12,304 dwellings sold by local authorities during 2014/2015 

However, new statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that only 1,903 dwellings were acquired or started on site during the same period.

26 June, 2015

IIAC publishes report on epicondylitis and its relationship to work

Having considered growing body of evidence since previous review in 2006, IIAC concludes that prescription cannot be recommended

25 June, 2015

Local Government Ombudsman highlights 10 per cent increase in complaints about social care 

Annual Review of Local Government Complaints for 2014/2015, published today, also warns that many councils are dealing with increasing numbers of complaints and have less resource available to manage them due to resources being cut in complaint handling teams.

25 June, 2015

Quality of advice provided by some fee-charging debt management firms still unacceptably low 

New report, published by the Financial Conduct Authority today, finds that vulnerable customers encouraged to purchase products and services which were not suitable and impeded their ability to repay their debts.

25 June, 2015

All people with existing long-term or indefinite awards of DLA will be invited to claim PIP from 13 July 2015, announces DWP

Aim is for all existing DLA claimants to have been invited to claim PIP by late 2017

25 June, 2015

Number of children living in poverty in 2013/2014 unchanged from 2012/2013

However, new DWP statistics also show that number of disabled people living in poverty after housing costs has risen by 2 per cent

25 June, 2015

Children of parents who are in casual work as opposed to permanent work more likely to enter poverty

New research published by the DWP also showed that 26 per cent of 'new families' were in poverty in the year after having their first child

25 June, 2015

DWP publishes evaluation of 2010-2013 Fit for Work Service pilots 

Pilots, which aim to offer support for people in the early stage of sickness absence, were generally more effective for people with musculoskeletal conditions than for those with mental health conditions.

25 June, 2015

Understanding why ESA claimants move straight from work to ESA without a period of sickness absence 

New research carried out on behalf of the DWP finds that 19 per cent of ESA claimants that were surveyed - those that had worked in the 12 months prior to claim - moved straight from work to claiming ESA without any period of sickness absence; and that those most at risk of leaving work without a period of sickness absence were more likely to be on a casual or agency contract, new to their job, or part-time workers.

25 June, 2015

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill 2015/2016 gets first reading 

Private Member's BIll, sponsored by Karen Buck MP, is due to have its second reading on Friday 16 October 2015.

25 June, 2015

Almost a third of local authorities in England and Wales overspent their DHP allocation in 2014/2015

New DWP statistics also show that 45 per cent of the spend was to help tenants affected by the bedroom tax.

25 June, 2015

DWP publishes first income-related benefit take-up statistics since 2012

New figures for 2013/2014 include that pension credit take-up is estimated at between 61 and 64 per cent and jobseeker's allowance at between 55 and 61 per cent

24 June, 2015

Care and Support (Population Assessments) (Wales) Regulations 2015 

New regulations in Wales that provide for carrying out assessments as to which people in a local authority’s area need care and support, and the extent to which there are carers in the area who need support.

24 June, 2015

Northern Ireland to introduce mandatory registration of domiciliary care workers 

Community Care reports on announcement by Northern Ireland’s health minister Simon Hamilton.

24 June, 2015

£5.2bn investment in social care urgently needed, says Local Government Association 

New report by Ernst and Young, commissioned by Local Government Association, proposes that government use next month's Budget to divert £1.3bn into a transformation fund each year until 2019/20, equalling a fund of £5.2bn by the end of the decade, to develop a new health and social care system.

24 June, 2015

Regulation of private rented housing in Wales

New statutory instruments in relation to information, periods and fees for registration and licensing and in relation to training requirements.

24 June, 2015

11 per cent increase in the number of households in temporary accommodation 

New statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government also show that, between 1 January and 31 March 2015, 13,520 households were accepted as homeless in England, 8 per cent higher than during the same quarter of 2014.

24 June, 2015

St Mungo’s Broadway calls for more action on homeless health 

Launching its 'Homeless Health 47' petition, Howard Sinclair, St Mungo's Broadway Chief Executive, highlights - 'Almost twice as many people who use homelessness services have long term physical health problems and mental health diagnoses compared to the general public, and the average age of people who die while homeless is 47'.

24 June, 2015

Homeless Link launches five year strategy to end homelessness in England 

Strategy sets out six priorities including ensuring that every local area has a personalised, rapid response for people who find themselves sleeping rough, and to promote sustainable housing and employment as the most effective route out of homelessness.

24 June, 2015

Disabled people facing uncertainty, vulnerability and stress as Independent Living Fund closes 

Calling for an eleventh-hour turnaround on government plans to close the Independent Living Fund, disability experts from the University of East Anglia present two new pieces of research which also show that older disabled people face a gap between the true costs of their care, and the disability benefits and publicly funded social care they receive, especially at high levels of disability.

24 June, 2015

Private renters in UK pay double the European average 

New figures from the National Housing Federation also show that, on average, private rented households in the UK spend almost 40 per cent of their income on paying their rent, compared to a European average of 28 per cent.

23 June, 2015

‘No reason for people to be fearful’, says Iain Duncan Smith

Secretary of State tells parliament that aim of welfare reform is to ensure that those who 'cannot manage and have disabilities’ are treated with 'the utmost kindness' and given 'the utmost support'

23 June, 2015

Scottish Government appoints poverty adviser

Naomi Eisenstadt to provide independent scrutiny of government's efforts to alleviate poverty and tackle inequality

23 June, 2015

Less than 12,000 of almost 120,000 families in troubled families programme achieved 'continuous employment' result by May 2015

However, new figures also show that almost 105,000 achieved prescribed education and crime/anti-social behaviour results

23 June, 2015

Application of activity 10 - ‘consciousness during waking moments’

CE/3933/2014
[2015] UKUT 287 AAC

22 June, 2015

Government publishes report on increase in apprentice rate of national minimum wage to £3.30 

Today's report sets out the evidence and impact of the government’s decision depart from the Low Pay Commission's recommendation to increase the apprentice rate by 7p from £2.73 to £2.80, in favour of increasing the rate by 57 pence to £3.30.

22 June, 2015

Alemi, R (on the application of) v Westminster City Council 

In new judgment, High Court decides that rule blocking family who had lost privately rented home due to benefit cap from applying for social housing in borough for 12 months was unlawful.

22 June, 2015

Reduction in benefit cap to £23,000 will make many areas ‘off limits’ for larger families 

New Chartered Institute for Housing analysis includes that couples with three children would receive £110 a week which is not enough to meet the average rent for a three-bedroom housing association home anywhere in the Midlands or the south of England, and in many areas in the north.

22 June, 2015

Prime Minister signals move from ‘merry-go-round’ of low pay topped up by benefits

Speech today follows yesterday's confirmation from Chancellor and Work and Pensions Secretary that government will go ahead with £12bn cuts to welfare

22 June, 2015

Scottish Government publishes draft clauses for Scotland Bill to implement priority areas for further devolution

Proposals include full responsibility for all working-age benefits or flexibilities in universal credit delivery if working-age benefits are not to be devolved

22 June, 2015

Northern Ireland Executive appoints new Interim Social Fund Commissioner

Walter Rader to replace Karamjit Singh from 1 July 2015

22 June, 2015

Employment case law

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

19 June, 2015

Number of people sleeping rough in London doubles in past five years 

In London 7,581 people slept rough over the course of 2014/2015 - a 16 per cent rise on the previous year, and more than double the figure of 3,673 in 2009/2010.

19 June, 2015

Gingerbread and CPAG call on government to raise level of childcare support in tax credits to 85 per cent

New research shows that childcare costs are rising sharply, and one in five children with at least one working parent is growing up in poverty

18 June, 2015

Affordable alternatives to high-cost lenders are needed, says the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 

New report endorses the proposal from the Institute for Public Policy Research for an affordable credit trust to endow and support non profit-making providers of affordable loans for low to middle income families.

18 June, 2015

Universal credit weakens the work incentive for potential second earners in a household, says the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Additionally, the work capability assessment is a 'benefit gateway' rather than the start of an 'employment plan' and will not change under universal credit

18 June, 2015

Welsh government needs to address underclaiming of pension credit, says National Assembly Committee

Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee also calls for funding of the Discretionary Assistance Fund to be restored to former level

18 June, 2015

More than two-thirds of people who complete the Work Programme return to jobcentre plus at the end of their two years

New DWP statistics also show that recent participants spent less than a third of their time on the Programme off benefit

18 June, 2015

Frank Field announced as new chair of the Work and Pensions Committee

Labour MP for Birkenhead elected winning 307 votes out of 611

18 June, 2015

Deadline brought forward for draft legislation to replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 

Law Commission to publish draft legislation and detailed proposals for a new deprivation of liberty scheme by the end of 2016.

18 June, 2015

Dispatches from the front lines of the housing crisis 

New report from Citizens Advice presents a snapshot of local housing challenges from across England and Wales.

17 June, 2015

New PIP claims currently taking an average of 11 weeks from registration to decision

New DWP statistics also show that 50 per cent of new claims led to an award compared with 77 per cent of DLA reassessed claims

17 June, 2015

Reform think tank calls for government to invest in social housing in order to reduce spending on housing benefit

New report also recommends removing 'perverse incentive' to claim ESA by reducing the rate for those in the work related activity group to that of JSA

17 June, 2015

Unlawful deprivations of liberty in care placements are widespread 

New research by Community care finds that councils have made just 1.6 per cent of court applications, needed to obtain legal authorisation for deprivations of liberty in community care placements, that they believe may be needed to comply with the Supreme Court's Cheshire West ruling.

17 June, 2015

Re X (Court of Protection Practice) 

New Court of Appeal case that considers the practice and procedure to be adopted in applications to the Court of Protection in deprivation of liberty cases and concludes that, while critical of the approach taken by Court of Protection president Sir James Munby in his judgment, the Court of Appeal did not have jurisdiction to overturn the process.

17 June, 2015

Expansion of conditionality under universal credit could lead to number of sanctions almost doubling

'Expanding massively the scope of conditionality and sanctions is an alarming prospect', says the New Policy Institute

17 June, 2015

Standard interest rate to fall to 3.12 per cent in July 2015

Fall reflects reduction in the Bank of England's measure of household mortgage rates

17 June, 2015

Universal credit caseload only at two-thirds the number projected for May 2015

New DWP statistics also show that, while 110,890 have claimed universal credit, only 74,120 have actually made a start on the benefit

17 June, 2015

Remedies for anti-social behaviour in private housing 

New House of Commons Library briefing note outlines the legal position and potential remedies available in England where people find themselves living next door to tenants of private landlords or owner-occupiers who exhibit anti-social behaviour.

17 June, 2015

2.4m bed days lost in 5 years from social care delays 

New figures from Age UK show an 'escalating social care crisis' in England with 2.43 million bed days lost to the NHS between June 2010 and March 2015 as people wait too long for vital social care.

16 June, 2015

More than half a million people received council tax reduction in Scotland in 2014/2015

However, new statistics highlight a 4.8 per cent decrease in the number of recipients since the scheme was introduced in April 2013

16 June, 2015

How cities can connect people in poverty with jobs 

New Joseph Rowntree study reviews UK and international evidence on local approaches linking people not in work to jobs, and those in work to better jobs, focusing on four stages in a stylised ‘pathway to employment’: pre-employment; employment entry; staying in work; and in-work progression.

15 June, 2015

Scottish Government outlines priority areas for further devolution of powers, including in relation to working age and children's benefits

Deputy First Minister also calls for transfer of responsibility for employment programmes and Jobcentre Plus

15 June, 2015

Employment case law

Latest EAT decisions added to the Tribunals Service website.

12 June, 2015

Hard to see how council tax support could be integrated with universal credit, says New Policy Institute

New research looks at how local schemes can be designed to protect both the revenue of local authorities and the incomes of their least well-off residents

12 June, 2015

Nearly half the 1.3 million carers aged over 65 in England and Wales provide round-the-clock care 

New research report from Independent Age, on providing unpaid care in later life, finds that lack of support for older carers has consequences for individuals’ health and wellbeing that are profound, and sometimes devastating.

12 June, 2015

Fewer than one in five applications for employment tribunal fee reductions succeed 

New statistics from the Ministry of Justice also show that there were 16,456 single claims in employment tribunals during 2014/2015 - a decrease of 52 per cent on 2013/2014.

12 June, 2015

Young adult carers miss an average of 48 school days a year 

Press release from the Carers Trust also highlights that young carers are four times more likely to drop out of college or university than a young person who isn’t in a caring role.

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