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Local Authority round-up 01/10/21

Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.

Commercial

New £500 million support fund announced for vulnerable households

The government has announced the new Household Support Fund which will provide £500 million in funding to help support vulnerable families with essentials over the coming months as the country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The money will be available to councils in October and councils will be responsible for distributing the funding. This could be by way of small grants to families to help them meet daily needs and pay for essentials such as food, clothing and utilities. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said “Everyone should be able to afford the essentials, and we are committed to ensuring that is the case. Our new Household Support Fund will provide a lifeline for those at risk of struggling to keep up with their bills over the winter, adding to the support the government is already providing to help people with the cost of living.”

For more information please click here.

£10 million funding for family support programmes to prevent violence

Councils are being urged to apply for a £10 million fund to find out how family support can help prevent violence. The Youth Endowment Fund and Comic Relief have opened applications to the programme which will invest in up to 10 projects to learn more about how early investment in family support programmes can prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. The funding will focus on parenting programme, family therapy interventions, programmes to reduce parental conflict and domestic abuse interventions.

For more information please click here.


Regulatory

Regulations making self-isolation legal requirement extended until March 2022

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/1073) have been made, and came into force at 11.55 pm on 27 September 2021. The Regulations, which only apply in England, extend the effect of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1045) (Self-isolation Regulations) until 24 March 2022. The Self-isolation Regulations impose the legal requirement to self-isolate where an individual tests positive for COVID-19 or is an unvaccinated close contact of an individual who has tested positive. The government stated in its recent COVID-19 Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 that self-isolation will remain crucial in breaking chains of transmission. In addition, the Regulations amend the Self-isolation Regulations to clarify that a household contact will only be exempt from self-isolation due to being fully vaccinated if they are fully vaccinated at the date the household contact first developed symptoms, or, where the contact is asymptomatic, the date the contact took the test that led to the positive result. They also extend the exemption from the duty to self-isolate for fully vaccinated persons to those who have received doses of two different Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised vaccines in the UK. They also clarify the requirements on those taking part in a testing scheme, in a situation where they test positive with a lateral flow test, but receive a subsequent negative confirmatory PCR test result.

For more information please click here.


International Trade

Office for the Internal Market officially launches

The CMA announced the official launch of the Office for the Internal Market (OIM) on 21 September 2021. This follows the CMA’s assumption of its full powers and functions under the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 (Internal Market Act). The Internal Market Act confers on the CMA various advisory, monitoring, intelligence-gathering and reporting functions relating to the development and effective operation of the UK internal market. Those functions will be undertaken by the OIM, which sits within the CMA. To help fulfil its role, the CMA’s announcement encourages businesses to report their experience of how the UK internal market is working using a new digital reporting service. Examples of issues that could be reported include difficulties in using professional qualifications awarded in one part of the UK in other parts of the UK, or where producers from one part of the UK are paying more to meet product standards in another part of the UK in order to sell there. Any information received through the service will contribute towards the OIM’s first report planned for Spring 2022, and may also be used for any discretionary reviews that the OIM may undertake before that.

For more information please click here.


Planning and housing

Scottish councils to receive funding to help support tenants

The Scottish government has announced that it will be providing councils in Scotland with an extra £10 million to help support tenants in rent arrears who are at risk of eviction. Councils will be able to provide grants to those most affected by COVID-19 to help them reduce or pay off their rent arrears. The grant fund will apply to both social housing and private tenants, and will be available until the end of March 2022. Housing Secretary Shona Robison said “These grants will support tenants and landlords who are willing to work together to address rent arrears and agree a repayment plan to ensure the tenant is able to avoid eviction. Councils have substantial experience in supporting people who have fallen behind on their rent, and are therefore well placed to work with both tenants and landlords in making use of this grant fund.”

For more information please click here.


Upcoming Webinars

As you may well know we run a programme of webinars on a wide range of topics, listed below are those webinars upcoming in the next few weeks which may be of interest to you:

The impact of the menopause in the workplace

Ward Hadaway is hosting a series of events exploring the impact of the menopause in the workplace and what very practical things organisations can do to provide relevant support. Join us in the first of these sessions to take place on 5th October from 3.30pm to 5pm where we will be speaking to Dr Joanne Hobson, specialist in menopause and hugely experienced in providing education and advice on this topic.

For more information and to book your place, please click here.

Recruitment, contracts of employment and handbook

The first webinar in our CPD Programme will focus on recruitment, contracts of employment and handbook. These sessions are completely free and will take place by Zoom, so they will not disrupt your day. They are perfect for HR professionals and managers who have responsibility for managing people. You will have the opportunity to ask questions via the Q&A feature, or our teams will be on hand for drop-in sessions for attendees after each event. This session will take place on 7th October at 10am.

For more information and to book your place, please click here.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this update, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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