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London advice conference disc what next


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What next for discrimination advice? presentation by Flora Williams of Law Centres Federation.

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London advice conference disc what next

  1. 1. Overall aim of today’s session:To bring delegates up to date with recent developments inthe discrimination advice sector.Session Objectives:By the end of this 1.5hr session, delegates will:Become informed of developments in discriminationadvice provision;Be able to analyse the impact of the developments fortheir advice service and clients;Develop plans to meet gaps as relevant to their service
  2. 2. Order of sessionContext and backgroundCurrent situation - includingsignificant developmentsThe future?
  3. 3. Context & BackgroundPreviously, discrimination advice was funded through:EHRC - legal grants & S28 for strategic cases – over 70agencies funded across UKLegal Aid – General help & casework onlyLocal Authority – some level of availability London Councils – Employment contractsTrusts and charitable sector funding
  4. 4. The current situationChange in govt has resulted in new proposals and approaches –ideological shift. Wider reforms and Red tape. Reduction.Equality Act 2010 – repeals and changes to ActEHRC powers reduced and budget significantly reducedQuestionnaire procedure to go?EHRC grants ceased march 2012LASPOA 2012 was passed with very minor amendments from theoriginal proposalsLondon Councils – consultation presently ongoingLocal Authority – reduced level of fundingBig Lottery – Advice Services Fund
  5. 5. The Future?From Sept 2012, GEO national discrimination helplineservice – replaces EHRC helplineNon legal enquiries onlyMove away from litigation towards conciliation,arbitration and negotiation to resolve disc issuesTemplates of legal documents made available on GEOwebsite for self litigantsLCF will co-ordinate referrals for casework andrepresentation from the helpline service
  6. 6. Other relevant developmentsBusiness & Enterprise Regulatory Reform Bill –Main proposals include:Introduction of tribunal feesRemoval of tribunal powers to make widerrecommendationsJudges only sitting on EAT cases
  7. 7. The FutureLegal Aid & discrimination fromApril 2013Employment out of scopeCompulsory telephone gatewayDiscrimination will be low volume
  8. 8. The FutureLondon CouncilsConsultation currently taking placeon criteria – priorities identified asHomelessness, Domestic violence and2nd tier support.
  9. 9. ImplicationsFor advice services:Better referral and signposting for discriminationUp to date information services for legal advice andrepresentationPick up discrimination through other subject areasUse European and Human Rights Law where possibleLook to international sources of funding such as EUMonitor and keep track of unmet needsIncrease awareness raising and PLE
  10. 10.  Increase our knowledge and understanding of Public Sector Equality Duties so that we may use them more effectively at a tool, at the early stage of decision making rather than in challenging decisions once they have been taken by the public body.
  11. 11. Implications for clientsIncreased awareness of discriminationand legal rights – to better challenge atsourceCompetence and skills to effectively useexisting complaints proceduresRaise awareness of others
  12. 12. Flora WilliamsEquality & Diversity Manager Law Centres Network 020 7842 0735 or 0759 0050 898