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In brief for week ending 12 April 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 House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has published a final report, following its inquiry into adult social care.
  • The Local Government Information Unit has published a report on the human cost of “cut-price care” in the home care market.

Central government:

  • The House of Commons and House of Lords’ Joint Committee on Human Rights has published a report that includes consideration of the specific business-related human rights that might be affected by Brexit.
  • The House of Commons Library has published a research briefing looking at what will happen to EU Directives after Brexit. This paper includes a list of EU Directives in force and implementing measures in the UK, and to some extent the devolved administrations and Gibraltar.
  • The House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has published a report on the system by which the House of Commons scrutinises EU legislation and how it may need to adapt in light of Brexit.
  • The House of Commons Library has published an updated briefing paper on “purdah” before elections and referendums.

Civil litigation:

  • The Senior Courts Costs Office has considered whether a claimant litigant in person had proved financial loss for the purpose of calculating the amount of costs to be allowed for work done by him (Spencer and another v Paul Jones Financial Services Ltd).
  • The Business and Property Courts in Birmingham will be formally opened by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, on 6 July 2017.


  • The Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016, and related procedural changes implemented by (principally) the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, came into force on 6 April 2017.
  • The House of Commons and House of Lords’ Joint Committee on Human Rights has published a report on human rights and business, including proposals to rectify shortcomings in the Modern Slavery Act 2015.


  • The Supreme Court has held that under section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 a child of compulsory school age fails to attend regularly if they do not comply with the rules prescribed by the school (Isle of Wight Council v Platt).
  • The government has published its response to the review of the special educational needs disagreement resolution arrangements undertaken by the Centre for Educational Development Appraisal and Research at the University of Warwick.

Employment and pensions:

  • The government has published guidance for prescribed persons on the new annual reporting duty that applies from 1 April 2017.
  • The Supreme Court has considered whether it is necessary for a claimant to prove the reason why a provision, criterion or practice puts or would put an affected group at a particular disadvantage when pursuing a claim of indirection discrimination, and whether that reason has to relate to the protected characteristic (Essop and others v Home Office (UK Border Agency); Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice).
  • The Advocate General has given an opinion on the applicability of the Acquired Rights Directive in the event of a “pre-pack” sale aimed at rescuing all or part of an insolvent business as a going concern (Federatie Nederlanse Vakvereniging and others v Smallsteps BV).
  • Acas and the Government Equalities Office have published the final version of the non-statutory guidance on the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations and the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017.
  • The Joint Committee on Human Rights has published a report entitled Human Rights and Business 2017: Promoting responsibility and ensuring accountability. Aspects of the report are of interest to employment practitioners.


FOI and data protection:

  • The European Court of Human Rights has considered whether Ukrainian domestic law, which permitted a state-owned company to retain and disclose an employee’s outdated mental health data for purposes other than those for which it was first collected, breached Article 8 of the ECHR and whether the domestic courts in related data protection proceedings breached Article 6, right to a fair hearing (Surikov v Ukraine).
  • A Scottish Sheriff Court has considered a claim for compensation under the Data Protection Act 1998, brought on the basis that the defendant data controller was not registered at the time one of its employees took a distressing photograph of the pursuer (Beyts v Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd).
  • The Information Commissioner has held that conditions for re-use of information imposed by a council breached regulation 12 of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (ICO Decision notice: FS50619465).
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that a former clerical officer employed by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has been fined £650 after pleading guilty to an offence under section 55 of the Data Protection Act in the Magistrates’ Court.
  • The ICO is seeking feedback on profiling under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.


Property and planning:

Public procurement:

  • The General Court has dismissed an appeal by Sardinia against a 2014 European Commission decision that part of public support granted by Sardinia to maritime company Saremar was incompatible with the state aid rules and must be recovered (Regione autonoma della Sardegna (Italy) v European Commission).

Regulation and enforcement:

  • The Supreme Court has upheld a decision from the Court of Appeal that Article 8 of the ECHR is not applicable to the decision to prosecute (SXH v The Crown Prosecution Service).
Practical Law In brief

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