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 Local Government email.
Adult social services:
- The Care Quality Commission has issued a penalty notice to a care home provider for failing to comply with national standards regarding the employment of a registered manager, contrary to regulation 7 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.
- The Scotland Act 2016 (Commencement No 6) Regulations 2017 have been made and will bring into force various sections of the Scotland Act 2016 on 18 May 2017. The Scotland Act 2016 (Consequential and Saving Provisions) Regulations 2017 have also been made and will come into force on 18 May 2017.
- The Finance Bill 2017 has received Royal Assent to become the Finance Act 2017.
The Act does not contain several key environmental measures that were included in the Bill, as these were dropped to fast-track the Bill through the legislative process in light of the 8 June 2017 general election.
- The High Court has held that the government must publish the UK’s draft air quality plan before the UK general election.
- The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has published the Twelfth Report of Session 2016–17 on the victims of modern slavery. The report outlines the failures in the UK’s system for dealing with modern slavery and makes recommendations on how best to address them.
- A Special European Council, meeting as 27 member states without the United Kingdom, has adopted the Article 50 guidelines to formally define the EU’s position for the Brexit negotiations with the UK.
- The Upper Tribunal has held that the UK’s impending exit from the EU should not affect the principles to be applied in assessing whether a court or tribunal should seek a preliminary ruling from the ECJ under Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme Trustees Ltd v HMRC).
- The Digital Economy Bill has received Royal Assent after the House of Commons and House of Lords reached an agreed position on the wording of the Bill, including provisions in relation to secondary ticketing.
- The Home Office has issued guidance on orders which may be made under Part 2 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
Employment and pensions:
- The EAT has:
- considered whether employees carrying out sleep-in shifts, who are on standby for the duration of the shift, engage in “time work”, and are therefore entitled to be paid the national minimum wage for the duration of the shift (Focus Care Agency Ltd v Roberts; Frudd and another v The Partington Group Ltd; Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake);
- decided that an employment tribunal incorrectly applied the test for pregnancy and maternity discrimination under section 18 of the Equality Act 2010 (Interserve FM Ltd v Tuleikyte); and
- held that in a claim for unlawful deduction of wages, an employment tribunal is permitted (indeed will often be required) to ascertain the terms of the employment contract, citing two Court of Appeal decisions to support this conclusion (Weatherilt v Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd).
- An employment tribunal has awarded nominal compensation of £2 for a breach of an employee’s right to be accompanied under section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Gnahoua v Abellio London Ltd).
- Employers have begun to publish their gender pay gap information on the government’s gender pay gap data website. The online portal displays the mandatory information required by the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017: percentage figures for the gender pay gap and gender bonus gap, using both the mean and median average, and the proportion of men and women within each pay quartile.
- The Pensions Ombudsman held that the administrator of a scheme was entitled to recover an overpayment made to a pensioner member where she had not sufficiently demonstrated a change of position (Determination in a complaint by Mrs R).
- The government has made further regulations to implement the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive 2014 in England and Wales. The implementing Regulations relate to water management projects for agriculture, land drainage improvement works, offshore petroleum production, pipe-lines, marine works, forestry and agriculture.
- The European Commission has published guidance on access to justice in environmental matters. The guidance pulls together previous decisions by the Court of Justice of the European Union on access to environmental justice.
- The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has republished sector guidance and process guidance notes under the Environmental Permitting regime.
- The Institute of Health Visitors has published a guide for health visitors entitled Working with minority groups: Spotting the signs of an individual in domestic slavery.
Property and Planning:
- The Neighbourhood Planning Bill 2016-17 has received Royal Assent and is now known as the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017.
- The First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) has held that land used for allotments must be de-listed as an asset of community value under the Localism Act 2011, to allow for its use as part of a development site (New Barrow Ltd v Ribble Valley Borough Council (Community Right to Bid)).
- The Law Society has issued a press release announcing the publication of the Standard Commercial Property Conditions, Third Edition.
Public procurement and state aid:
- The General Court has dismissed an appeal by a tenderer against a decision of the Publications Office of the European Union to reject its tender without examining the content on the grounds that it had already been opened (Gfi PSF Sàrl v European Commission).
- The Advocate General has invited the ECJ to decide that a subsidiary of a contracting authority could itself indirectly be a contracting authority, if it sells goods and services to its parent authority (LitSpecMet UAB v Vilniaus lokomotyvų remonto depas UAB and another).
- The European Parliament has published a paper entitled Consequences of Brexit in the area of Public Procurement.
- A European Commission notice on state aid recovery interest rates and reference/discount rates for all 28 EU member states applicable from 1 May 2017 has been published in the Official Journal.
Regulation and enforcement:
- The Health and Safety Executive has announced that a school has been fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to breaching regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 in the Magistrates’ Court.
- The Mayor of London has announced that landlords and letting agents who criminally exploit their tenants will be “named and shamed” on a new online database in order to protect private renters.