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In brief for week ending 18 March 2015

Make sure that you have not missed a key development in your area of the law by reading our In brief review of the latest Practical Law Public Sector email.

March 2015 Budget

  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made his Budget Statement to the House of Commons. The statement included various policy announcements of interest to public sector lawyers, including the establishment of a central body that will own and manage the central government estate, and the launch of a consultation into the compulsory purchase regime intended to support brownfield development.

Children’s services:

Civil litigation:

 Employment and pensions:

  • The National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 have been made and will come into force on 6 April 2015. The regulations consolidate and replace the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 and subsequent amending regulations.
  • Parliament has approved the revised Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures and Acas has updated the accompanying non-statutory guidance.
  • The EAT has:
    • considered for the first time whether the references to “a client” and “the client” in regulation 3(1)(b) of TUPE (which defines a service provision change) cover “clients” in the plural or only a single legal entity (Ottimo Property Services Ltd v Duncan and another); and
    • held that a tribunal had erred in holding that an employee who had made admissions during their employer’s disciplinary process had been unfairly dismissed (CRO Ports London Ltd v Wiltshire).
  • The government has published responses to consultations on:
  • The MoJ has published tribunal statistics for October to December 2014, which indicate that although the number of claims remains low, there has been a small increase in the number of claims in the last quarter.
  • The Pensions Act 2004 (Code of Practice) (Governance and Administration of Public Service Pension Schemes) Appointed Day Order 2015 has been made and brings the Pensions Regulator’s code of practice 14 relating to public-service pension schemes into force on 1 April 2015.


FOI and data protection:

Health and social care:

  • The Care Act 2014 (Consequential Amendments) (Secondary Legislation) Order 2015 and the Care and Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2015 were laid before Parliament on 11 March 2015.
  • The Department of Health Charging for Residential Accommodation Guidance is to be replaced with new statutory guidance under the Care Act 2014 on 1 April 2015.
  • The High Court has ruled that decisions by Welsh Local Health Boards setting the rate for the funded nursing care costs that they would cover were flawed, because they were based on an overly restrictive definition of “nursing care by a registered nurse” (R (Forge Care Homes Ltd and others) v Cardiff & Vale University Health Board and others).
  • The CMA has published the full text of its decision to refer the anticipated merger between Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to a Phase 2 investigation.


  • The DCLG has published advice to local authorities on the new regime for applications for the grant or transfer of a site licence under the Mobile Homes Act 2013.

Local government:

  • The DCLG has announced that the government will proceed with the draft legislative reform order on setting up new town and parish councils that it published in December 2014.
  • HM Treasury has published a consultation paper on its business rates review, following concerns from business ratepayers that the system is in need of reform.
  • The Home Office has published Prevent duty guidance for Scotland and England and Wales. Related draft regulations were also published.
  • The DCLG has published a guide on changes to the smaller authorities’ local audit and accountability framework.
  • The Local Government Association has published a guide to publicity during the pre-election purdah period.

Property and planning:

Public procurement:

  • The ECJ has handed down its ruling on a preliminary reference from a Lithuanian court on the interpretation of Directive 89/665 and Directive 2004/18, in particular, the effect of bias on the award of a procurement contract and the right to bring a challenge out of time against that award (eVigilo Ltd v Priešgaisrinės apsaugos ir gelbėjimo departamentas prie Vidaus reikalų ministerijos).
  • The General Court has dismissed an appeal against a decision of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia rejecting a tender submitted in response to the call for tenders for the supply of a rabies vaccine to the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Supply (IDT Biologika v European Commission).
Practical Law In brief

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