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In brief for week ending 6 December 2017

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 Court of Protection Rules 2017 came into force on 1 December 2017. The rules, which are supported by a package of new Practice Directions, replace the previous rules from 2007.
  • The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman has criticised a local authority for charging the complainant for care that she had not received after she was charged at an hourly rate rather than for the tasks completed (Investigation into a complaint against Suffolk County Council (16 009 086)).
  • The Local Government Association has issued guidance, Making Safeguarding Personal in the housing sector.
  • The Welsh Government has announced that the capital limit when assessing residential care costs will be raised from £30,000 to £40,000 in April 2018.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority has published the final report on its market study into care homes for the elderly.

Central government:

  • The House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee has published its report on the progress of the UK’s negotiations on EU withdrawal.
  • The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has considered the impact of Brexit on local government in its first evidence session.

Children’s services:

  • The Health and Safety Executive has announced that a local authority has pleaded guilty of breaching the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, section 2(1) and been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,918.88 in the Magistrates’ Court.

Civil litigation:

  • The High Court has considered the use of the qualified privilege defence by an NHS Trust governor following her complaint of sexual harassment (David v Hosany).
  • The Commercial Court has considered the first defendant’s application for strike out or summary judgment, regarding a claim for declaratory relief, based on an allegation that the first defendant incorrectly warranted in correspondence that it was authorised to give instructions on behalf of the claimant (Bronze Monkey LLC and another v Simmons & Simmons LLP and another).


  • The Advocate General has given his opinion that a body pursuing an activity of public interest (a school offering free or subsidised education) is a “seller or supplier” for the purposes of the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (Karel de Grote Hogeschool – Katholieke Hogeschool Antwerpen VZW v Kuijpers).
  • The TCC has granted summary judgment against an individual who gave a personal indemnity in order to secure payments “on account” from a contractor to his struggling sub-contracting business (Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd v Dunne).
  • BEIS has updated its guidance on the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012, to address the changes made to them by the Payment Services Regulations 2017, which implement the revised Directive on Payment Services in the Internal Market. The Regulations control a trader’s ability to charge both consumers and businesses fees in respect of their use of payment methods.


  • The Department of Health and the Department for Education have issued a joint consultation on draft guidance on reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention for children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and mental health needs.

Employment and pensions:

  • The ECJ has held that a worker is entitled to be paid on termination for any periods of annual leave that have accrued during employment, where the worker has been discouraged from taking that leave because it would have been unpaid (King v The Sash Window Workshop Ltd and another).
  • HM Courts & Tribunals Service has published minutes of the South East region employment tribunal user group, following a meeting in November 2017.
  • The Pensions Ombudsman has upheld a complaint where an LGPS administrator had incorrectly said that a participating employer could offer the member unreduced pension benefits from deferment at no cost to itself (Determination in a complaint by Mr E).


FOI and data protection:

  • The European Court of Human Rights has held by a majority that two professors’ Article 8 privacy rights were infringed by the University of Montenegro’s decision to install surveillance cameras in student auditoriums, with a view to protecting the safety of property and people, and monitoring teaching (Antović and Mirković v Montenegro).
  • The High Court has held that an employer was vicariously liable for an employee’s deliberate and criminal disclosure of personal information about coworkers on the internet (Various claimants v Wm Morrisons Supermarket PLC).
  • The First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) has dismissed an appeal against a decision of the Information Commissioner that the Home Office was not obliged to disclose how many autopsies the police had asked a particular forensic pathologist to conduct over a ten-year period (Grant Workman v Information Commissioner).
  • The Home Office has launched a consultation on the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, covering amendments proposed to the communications data regime, and the draft communications data code of practice.


Local government law:

  • The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper detailing the structure of local government organisations in England.

Property and planning:

  • FIDIC has launched the 2017 editions of the Red, Yellow and Silver Books at its International Contract Users’ Conference in London.

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Health and Safety Executive has announced that a highway company has been fined £500,000 following the death of an employee, after pleading guilty to sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in the Crown Court.
Practical Law In brief

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