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.
Queen’s Speech 2015: public sector implications:
- The Queen’s Speech has been delivered to both Houses of Parliament, setting out the government’s legislative priorities for the 2015-16 parliamentary session.
- The High Court has:
- The TCC has:
- dismissed a claimant’s application to amend its particulars of claim to add two new claims eight months before a trial that is due to commence on 18 January 2016 (CIP Properties (AIPT) Ltd v Galliford Try Infrastructure Ltd and others);
- decided that an employer was estopped from recovering alleged overpayments under a repair and maintenance contract (Mears Ltd v Shoreline Housing Partnership Ltd); and
- granted a claimant the declarations it sought, holding that an adjudicator’s decision could not stand (Leeds City Council v Waco UK Ltd).
- The County Court in Northern Ireland has held that a bakery’s refusal to bake a cake for a homosexual customer with the caption “Support Gay Marriage” amounted to direct discrimination on grounds of his sexual orientation, contrary to the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 (Lee v Ashers Baking Co Ltd and others).
Education and children’s services:
- The High Court has:
- held that a council’s decision to amend its home to school transport policy in relation to six faith schools in its administrative district was unlawful (R (Diocese of Menevia and others) v City and County of Swansea Council);
- imposed an interim care order, with the intention that a local authority would remove a child into foster care, despite the local authority, mother and father objecting to the child’s removal from the parents’ care (Re N (A child: Interim care order: Interim removal));
- clarified the ambit of wardship and use of anti-tipping-off injunctions to protect children (Re M (Children)); and
- construed the words “have had a home with” under section 42(3) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and provided a reason for a 17 year old being adopted (Re X (A Child: Adoption No 2)).
Employment and pensions:
- The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2015 have been made and bring into force certain provisions of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 on 26 May 2015, including the ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.
- The Court of Appeal has considered whether an employer was entitled to withhold one working day’s pay, rather than one calendar day’s pay, when the claimants went on a one-day strike (Hartley and others v King Edward VI College).
- The EAT has considered the interrelationship between the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 and the duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 (NHS Direct NHS Trust v Gunn).
- The Pensions Ombudsman has held that the failure of the Government Actuary’s Department to consider whether Firefighters’ Pension Scheme commutation tables should have been reviewed was maladministration (Determination in a complaint by Mr W Milne).
- The Welsh Government has published a revised policy on the management and disposal of higher activity radioactive waste and a related written statement, together with a consultation.
FOI and data protection:
- Google has settled a High Court action by former Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile president Max Mosley concerning its failure to block images and links which direct to websites displaying his personal data from its search engine results.
- The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper comparing homelessness duties in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- The Department for Communities and Local Government has updated its guidance for social housing tenants looking to buy their flats.
- The House of Commons Library has published three briefing papers on social care in England.
Property and planning:
- The Welsh Government has published a consultation seeking views on how applications for developments of national significance should be dealt with and determined.
- The European Court of Justice has handed down a ruling on a preliminary reference from a Finnish court on the interpretation of service concessions under Directive 2004/18 (Kansaneläkelaitos v Suomen Palvelutaskit ry, Oulum Taksipalvelut Oy and Turun Seudeun Invataksit ry).
- The Advocate General has given her opinion on a reference from an Austrian court on the time limits for bringing an action under Directive 89/665 (MedEval – Qualitäts-, Leistungs- und Struktur-Evaluierung im Gesundheitswesen GmbH v Bundesvergabeamt).