The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Social care providers may have seen a recent article in the Guardian entitled “Modern slavery: the next social care scandal?” in which they report that foreign nationals working in social care could be victims of exploitation, trafficking and forced labour.
Given the intense pressure on care providers to recruit and retain staff, they are prime targets for agencies that are, in fact, human trafficking into the UK, the Guardian reports. The Guardian suggests that, based on its investigations, the next target for the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (now Gangmasters Licensing Authority) will, therefore, be the social care sector.
According to the article, the Modern Slavery Helpline has received calls from individuals worried about the welfare of their care workers and inquiries from concerned social work professionals. It is important to note that the Care Quality Commission has stated that it has not seen any evidence that any registered social care provider in England is being used as a conduit for illegal human trafficking.
That said, the remit of the renamed Gangmasters Licensing Authority widens later this year to cover the whole of the UK labour market, calls are being made for a formal investigation into the sector. Human trafficking is clearly a key concern for the sector, and, therefore, those working in the care sector should be vigilant.
Modern Slavery Act 2015 – Key issues
Businesses will be aware that in October 2015, and to tackle the growing human trafficking issue, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) was introduced in the UK.
The most relevant section for businesses of the MSA is section 54, which requires organisations over a certain size to disclose what activities they have undertaken to eliminate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains and their own business. Affected employers are required to produce a so-called “slavery and human trafficking statement” every financial year that sets out the steps they are taking to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of their supply chains or any part of their own business.
To assist providers with managing any potential human trafficking issues, and comply with the MSA, we have produced a toolkit highlighting requirements of the Act and providing a sample human trafficking statement as well as an MSA policy.
For more information
For further advice or information concerning the MSA or issues facing the care sector, and how they might affect your organisation, please get in touch with your usual contact or speak to Anna Dabek.
To purchase a copy of our toolkit, created to help employees fulfil their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, get in touch with Lynsey Harrison - 0121 214 3615, email@example.com.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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