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UK

Cost of learning in lockdown: Anna’s story

03 July 2020
As part of the research for our Cost of Learning in Lockdown report, we conducted some interviews with parents and carers from across the UK, who shared with us their family’s experience of school closures. We’re now publishing some of these interviews on our blog, to shine a light on these important stories and the issues that they bring up.

Universal credit, earned income and monthly pay

R (Johnson, Woods, Barrett & Stewart) v SSWP [2019] EWHC23 (Admin); SSWP v Johnson, Woods, Barrett & Stewart [2020] EWCA Civ788
This case successfully challenged the rigidity of the monthly assessment period regime under universal credit (UC) and the way that earned income is calculated for certain claimants. The case concerned four single working mothers whose regular monthly pay dates for their wages fell close to the start/end of their assessment periods, resulting in them sometimes having two paydays in one assessment period. This issue caused them to experience fluctuations of their income and significant cash losses.

Don't Zap the Zip campaign briefing

26 June 2020
The government is about to ‘temporarily’ suspend free travel for under 18s in London, to protect public health during the pandemic. This will be a disaster for families with children who are already struggling and could mean that children and young people will miss out on their education and other opportunities in the capital. Families have suffered enough during the pandemic – it’s not right that they should be punished further during a time of national crisis.

Mind the gaps - briefing 8

26 June 2020
This is the eighth in a series of briefings, Mind the Gaps, which highlight some of the gaps in support that exist for children and families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Evidence of these gaps is drawn from our Early Warning System (EWS) which collects case studies from frontline practitioners working directly with families on the problems they are seeing with the social security system.

Cost of learning in lockdown: Hannah’s story

25 June 2020
As part of the research for our Cost of Learning in Lockdown report, we conducted some interviews with parents and carers from across the UK, who shared with us their family’s experience of school closures. We’re now publishing some of these interviews on our blog, to shine a light on these important stories and the issues that they bring up. We’re very grateful to the parents and carers who took part in these interviews: thank you for helping us understand the impact of lockdown measures on family life, and informing our recommendations to schools, local authorities and the government.

Widowed Parent's Allowance where there has been a religious ceremony

This case concerned entitlement to Widowed Parent’s Allowance (WPA) where the appellant and her deceased partner had undergone a religious ceremony and considered themselves to be and held themselves out as being legally married. The First tier Tribunal found that the appellant had no entitlement to WPA, and CPAG supported the claimant in appealing to the Upper Tribunal. The case was heard in the UT before a three judge panel on 13/02/20. Judgment was handed down on 26/05/20, dismissing the appeal. The Court held that the grain of the legislation was that the benefit was only to be paid to a spouse or civil partner and to interpret it otherwise would be to cross the divide from the Court's interpretive function and into policy matters that should be reserved for Parliament. For the judgment and advice for unmarried WPA claimants, read full article.

Universal credit, benefit cap and those paid 4 weekly

Pantellerisco and others v SSWP CO/3572/2019
On 12 September 2019, CPAG issued judicial review proceedings on behalf of a single parent and her children challenging the application of the benefit cap to the mother’s universal credit award despite the fact that she works 16 hours per week at national minimum wage simply because she is paid 4 weekly rather than monthly. The case was heard on 12 May 2020 and we are awaiting the judgment.

Court of Appeal finds DWP's treatment of earnings under universal credit irrational in further victory for four single mothers

22 June 2020
This case successfully challenged the rigidity of the monthly assessment period regime under universal credit (UC) and the way that earned income is calculated for certain claimants.

Court of Appeal finds DWP's treatment of earnings under universal credit irrational in further victory for four single mothers

22 June 2020
The Department of Work and Pensions has lost its appeal against an earlier victory for four working single mothers challenging the rigidity of the universal credit (UC) system for calculating their earnings.

Black children’s lives matter

19 June 2020
Black lives matter, particularly the lives of children. Poor children are more likely to be behind in school than their wealthier peers, have reported lower sense of well-being, have poorer health outcomes and even employment difficulties in adulthood. But we don’t talk enough about the fact that some children in black and minority ethnic (BME) families are more likely to experience poverty.