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Local Authority round-up: 19/04/24

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.

Planning and Housing

Chartered Institute of Housing supports Competence and Conduct Standard for social housing

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Local Government Association (LGA) have welcomed the Government’s proposed Competence and Conduct Standard for social housing employees, but has raised concerns regarding the timescales for its implementation.

The Department for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities (DHLUC) conducted a consultation on the proposed standard, which would require senior managers and executives to have, or be working towards, a relevant qualification. In their responses to the consultation, the CIH and the LGA supported the introduced of a regulatory standard, but suggested that “further consideration would be helpful to achieve the intended outcomes without negatively impacting the service delivery”.

Both organisations stressed the importance of greater flexibility which would assist registered providers of social housing “to plan and implement the changes more effectively…allow more time for staff to prepare for qualifications and also help training/qualification providers to ensure they have sufficient capacity to deliver the relevant qualification programmes.”

For more information please click here.


High Court upholds ban on prayer rituals in London school

In TBHMLFU v School [2024] EWHC 843, Mr Justice Linden, by dismissing a secondary school pupil’s challenge, concluded that the disadvantage to Muslim pupils as a result of the prohibition to prayer rituals was “outweighed by the aims which it seeks to promote in the interests of the school community as a whole, including Muslim pupils”.

The claimant wished to pray during their lunchtime, however the school argued the performance of ritual prayer would “conflict with the school’s ethos” and its behavioural rules. The school also advanced that the claimant chose to attend a secular school, and is free to transfer to a school which would permit prayer rituals.

The court held that the policy did not ”interfere” with the claimant’s freedom to manifest her religious beliefs under Article 9, and that the prohibition was justified under Article 9(2) given the ethos of the secular school.

For more information please click here.

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ICO publishes guidance to improve transparency in health and social care

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published new guidance to “improve transparency” in health and social care.

The ICO noted that health and social care sectors “routinely handle” sensitive information, which is provided in confidence to trusted practitioner, thereby emphasising the importance of increasing transparency.

The guidance details how practitioners should inform patients about the use of their personal data, to ensure they are clear, open and honest.

For more information please click here.

Upcoming Events

Employment Law Update

In this webinar, our employment experts will review key legislative changes and provide practical assist to those who manage issues in the workplace.

The key topics which will be explore include the changes to the statutory right to request flexible working and the new rights for carers to take leave. We will evaluate any important case law decisions that employers need to be aware of, including the recent disability discrimination case which saw the claimant be awarded £4.6 million in compensation.

The webinar will take place on the 08th May, 10:00am-11:00am. To register your place, please click here.

Housing Management Law School Spring Term

The Housing Management Law School is free to attend and exists to deliver training to Registered Providers of Social Housing, educating and updating their housing management staff with the essential legal knowledge that they need.

The Spring Term session will take place on the 09th May, 10:00am-11:30am, and will explore the following:

The Revised Consumer Standards are now in force having come into effect on April 1st, this year. This session will look in depth at the new standards, how they will be applied, monitored and enforced, and what is expected of Registered Providers under the new consumer standard Code of Practice.

Disrepair claims continue to present major financial, logistical and reputational risks to social housing providers. In this session, we will consider the practical steps that can be taken to mitigate risk, handle claims effectively, efficiently and economically to protect customers, reputation and resources.

To register your place, please click here.

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.

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