Aug 18, 2020 - UK inflation rises to 1% in June as lockdown eases

UK consumer price inflation unexpectedly rose in July as Covid-19 lockdown measures eased, with clothing and fuel the main contributors.

Consumer price inflation jumped to 1% in July, from 0.6% in June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed this morning.

Meanwhile, core inflation - which strips out volatile energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices - rose to 1.8% in July from 1.4% in June.

ONS deputy national statistician for Economic Statistics, Jonathan Athow, said: "Inflation has risen, in part, due to the largest monthly pump price increase in nearly a decade, as international o...

Aug 17, 2020 - Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 1 September 2020

From 1 September 2020, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 per months for the hours the employees are on furlough.

Employers will still need to pay furloughed employees 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Employers will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant themselves.

The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if an employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in September, employers are entitled to claim 70% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work up to ...

Aug 17, 2020 - Local authorities may need permission to get British citizenship for children in care

Local authorities have recently made headlines for failing to regularise the immigration status of children in their care. As the case of Darrell and Darren Roberts sadly exemplifies, not taking care of the immigration or citizenship status of children in care can have devastating consequences, including making them liable to deportation. 

Local authorities do not, however, have unlimited powers in this area. In the case of Y (Children In Care: Change of Nationality) [2020] EWCA Civ 1038, the Court of Appeal found that section 33 of the Children Act 1989

does not entitle the local authority to...

Aug 17, 2020 - The domestic violence concession: for the few, not the many

The UK’s long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill has reached the House of Lords stage of its progress towards becoming law. In the House of Commons, MPs had considered an amendment to lift the no recourse to public funds rule for migrant survivors of domestic abuse. This amendment was proposed to fill the void faced by many migrant women and men who are not eligible for the Home Office’s domestic violence concession due to being on the wrong type of visa. 

MPs said no (330 to 207) to this amendment, voting largely along party lines. Whilst many have been hailing the Domestic Abuse Bill as a “landmark...

Aug 16, 2020 - Court of Appeal ruled that out-of-country appeals do not breach GDPR

The very recent case of Johnson v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1032, has confirmed that there is no breach of the General Data Protection Regulation involved in hearing human rights appeals from abroad via video link.

Following Mr Johnson deportation to Jamaica in 2017, Mr Johnson argued that his appeal must be heard in the UK otherwise the use of his personal data will amount to a GDPR breach.

Lord Justice Dingemans was not convinced and dismissed the claim, pointing to the specific GDPR exception for legal proceedings:

… paragraph 14(3) of schedule 2 provides “a...

Aug 06, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 07 August 2020)

If your leave expires after 1 September 2020

You can submit an application form from within the UK where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.

You’ll need to show your application is urgent, for example if you need to start a new job or course of study.

You’ll need to pay the fees and meet all requirements of your visa as normal, except the need to submit the application in your home country.

This is being kept under review.

Aug 05, 2020 - Good news for migrants falsely accused of English language test cheating

Migrants who win an appeal after being wrongly accused of cheating on their English language visa test should now get a proper grant of leave to remain as a result. Following a legal challenge, the Home Office has committed to granting two and a half years of leave to migrants who win a TOEIC appeal based on their Article 8 rights.

The commitment comes after solicitors brought a judicial review on behalf of a client, MM, who was cleared of cheating on appeal but only granted 60 days’ leave. The solicitors describe that as “an insult to the years that he has spent fighting to clear his name”, b...

Aug 04, 2020 - UK chancellor is considering an increase in business rates for most valuable properties

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering increasing business rates for the most valuable properties, having called for industry opinion on whether high end shops, offices and other large premises should pay a new, higher business rate.

Feedback has also been requested on proposals to create different rates for different types of businesses. As part of a review of the levy, the Treasury warns that failing to raise enough revenue from business rates could put pressure on "other parts of the tax system".

However, there are concerns the increase could hurt retail firms already struggling, with job lo...

Aug 03, 2020 - Easier access to benefits for family members of people from Northern Ireland

People from Northern Ireland will soon be able to sponsor non-European family members under the light-touch EU Settlement Scheme. The government has recently passed a separate but related measure: the Social Security (Income-Related Benefits) (Persons of Northern Ireland – Family Members) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. The aim of the regulations is to enable such family members to claim benefits in Great Britain “on broadly the same terms as family members of citizens of the Republic of Ireland”.

An accompanying memo explains:

Family members of citizens of the Republic of Ireland granted [pre-s...

Jul 30, 2020 - Coronavirus: PM postpones lockdown easing in England

The further easing of coronavirus restrictions in England - due to come in this weekend - has been postponed for at least two weeks, amid concerns over an increase in coronavirus cases.

Mr Johnson said planned reopening for 1 August would be delayed for at least a fortnight.

That means venues such as casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed until 15 August.

Indoor performances will also not resume, pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centres will not take place, and the planned expansion of wedding receptions to allo...