Time to ask who cares
As the New Year unfolds, a major
shake up to the health and social care system is
expected. The Law Centre’s AGM on 19 December heard
from Health Minister Edwin Poots about how the
system will care for the frail, elderly and
The adult social care system in
Northern Ireland provides support to people
living in their own home or in residential care.
Delegates also heard from Richard
Humphries of the London-based leading health policy
think-tank, The King’s Fund, about the extent of the
challenges to reforming adult social care, and from Claire Keatinge,
Commissioner for Older People, Northern Ireland and
Ann O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Age NI.
The DHSSPS consultation paper on
adult social care, Who Cares? The Future of Adult
Care and Support in Northern Ireland, is
ends 15 March.
Tribunal reform: the way
A joint conference of University of Ulster, Law
Centre (NI) and the Department of Justice
Friday 25 January, Bar Library Belfast, 10 am
to 4 pm
Justice Minister David Ford MLA; Professor Michael
Adler, University of Edinburgh; Brian Thompson,
University of Liverpool; Professor Dame Hazel Genn,
University College London; Gráinne McKeever,
University of Ulster.
Plenary session will explore the way forward for
tribunal reform, and will be chaired by Sir
Patrick Coughlin, Lord Justice of Appeal.
More information from
Law Centre proposals on
As the Social Development Committee
prepares for the final stages of scrutiny of the
welfare reform bill, Law Centre (NI) has submitted
26 potential amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill
for the Committee to consider.
Download Law Centre proposals to
Migrant workers training
The Belfast Integration and Participation Project
runs until the end of June.
The Law Centre is producing an online guide on
Universal Credit and migrant workers for the
Project, as well as running information meetings and
Focus group / information meetings
Thursday 17 January, 11am to 1pm: free
information session on benefits available for
migrant workers and how to claim them. All
Further meetings: Thursday 7 March and 13 June
Universal Credit and Migrants training
Thursday 16 and 23 May, 10am to 4pm
Thursday 30 May and 6 June, 10am to 4pm
at the Law Centre
Mental Capacity and Community Care, Belfast
Employment Law, 2 days, Belfast
Means Tested Benefits, Derry
Social Security: Seeking Work, Other Requirements
February, Personal Independence Payment,
Employment Law, 2 days, Derry
March, Children and Young People in the
Immigration System, Belfast
March, Understanding Universal Credit and Other
All our courses carry CPD points for solicitors,
barristers and CAB advisers.
For more details, visit the
training section of our website, or contact
firstname.lastname@example.org, 028 7126
2433 or view our
A busy year for Legal
It is now almost a year since the Law Centre’s Legal
Support Project (LSP) successfully concluded its
first case in the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.
Since then, the LSP's caseload has grown rapidly.
Success in employment
for agricultural worker
In a case referred by Magherafelt
District Advice Service, we secured compensation of £50,000,
by settlement made just before full hearing, for an
agricultural worker who had worked for many years
below the correct rate of pay under agricultural
wages legislation and had never been given annual
leave. The worker had been working seven days per
week, often for 52 weeks in the year.
Apart from the claim under the Agricultural Wages
Regulations, the worker also had claims for unlawful
deduction from wages, redundancy pay, unfair
dismissal and breach of the Working Time
£15,000 settlement in pregnancy discrimination
and unfair dismissal case
In a case referred by Dungannon CAB,
we obtained a £15,000 settlement a
week before hearing in a pregnancy discrimination,
harassment and unfair dismissal case.
Our client was a successful
saleswoman who had had a good relationship with her
employer until she got pregnant. Before going
on maternity leave, she was pressurised about
returning to work very soon after her due date and
during her leave she had her company car, which was
also for private use, taken off her. Shortly
before she was due to return to work she was told
her terms and conditions were radically changing and
then told she would have to work on a freelance
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