As part of the Government's 10-year strategy for childcare, it consulted on measures intended to 'give parents more choice about how to balance their work and family responsibilities'. The Work and Families Act 2006 implements some of the measures set out in the Government's response to this consultation. The Act, together with a group of related statutory instruments, contains amendments to legislation relating to maternity, paternity and adoption benefits. Susan Mitchell outlines the main changes.
The Welfare Reform Bill was published on 4 July 2006. Amongst its foremost provisions are the basic rules concerning the employment and support allowance, which is expected to replace incapacity benefit and income support for incapacity from 2008. Drawing on the Bill and its predecessor, the Green Paper, Simon Osborne describes the main provisions and identifies some of the issues arising.
A recent commissioner's decision has accepted that 'thinking' is a bodily function for the purposes of disability living allowance. Stewart Wright considers the decision and the case law which preceded it.