Karl Turner Portrait

Karl Turner

Labour - Kingston upon Hull East

Shadow Minister (Justice)

(since April 2020)
Regulatory Reform
2nd Mar 2020 - 20th May 2021
Shadow Minister (Transport)
3rd Jul 2017 - 10th Apr 2020
Regulatory Reform
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Opposition Whip (Commons)
18th Oct 2016 - 3rd Jul 2017
Shadow Attorney General
11th Jan 2016 - 26th Jun 2016
Shadow Minister (Justice)
18th Sep 2015 - 11th Jan 2016
Shadow Solicitor General
3rd Dec 2014 - 11th Jan 2016
Opposition Assistant Whip (Commons)
11th Jan 2013 - 18th Sep 2015
Home Affairs Committee
26th Nov 2012 - 4th Feb 2013
Justice Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 21st Jan 2013


Department Event
Tuesday 29th June 2021
11:30
Ministry of Justice
Oral questions - Main Chamber
29 Jun 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Justice (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Tuesday 8th June 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

This Government are responsible for over 40,000 needless deaths from covid-19 in care homes. A plan to fix social care …

Written Answers
Monday 26th April 2021
Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the planned timescale is for resuming face-to-face benefits assessments …
Early Day Motions
Monday 24th February 2020
CCTV in care homes
That this House recognises that people living in residential care homes represent some of the most vulnerable members of society …
Bills
Tuesday 17th May 2011
Dangerous Driving (Maximum Sentence) Bill 2010-12
A Bill to increase the maximum sentence for a conviction of dangerous driving from two years to seven years; and …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
1. Employment and earnings
11 November 2018, payment of £200 from Ipsos MORI, 3 Thomas More St, London E1W 1YW, for a survey. Hours: …
EDM signed
Monday 18th January 2021
Godfrey Colin Cameron
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Karl Turner has voted in 238 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Karl Turner Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Paul Scully (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(10 debate interactions)
Alex Chalk (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
(10 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Transport
(13 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(9 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Karl Turner has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Karl Turner's debates

Kingston upon Hull East Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Kingston upon Hull East signature proportion
Karl Turner has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Karl Turner

14th January 2021
Karl Turner signed this EDM on Monday 18th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
6th July 2020
Karl Turner signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 6th July 2020

Enforcement

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (No. 2) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 614), dated 19 June 2020, a copy of which was laid before this House on 19 June 2020, be annulled.
18 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
View All Karl Turner's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Karl Turner, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Karl Turner has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Karl Turner has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Karl Turner


A Bill to increase the maximum sentence for a conviction of dangerous driving from two years to seven years; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 17th May 2011

Karl Turner has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


137 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many prosecutors from the Crown Prosecution Service were furloughed between April 2020 and October 2020.

There were no CPS staff placed on furlough during the period April – Oct 2020.

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
21st May 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what the average salary is for (a) trainee solicitors and (b) pupil barristers working for the Crown Prosecution Service as at 1 June 2020.

The average salary for trainee solicitors and pupil barristers working for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as at 1st June 2020 is as follows:

(a) trainee solicitor £27,961

(b) pupil barrister £26,038

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish an updated list of Ministerial responsibilities.

Further to the answer given to PQ 5342 on 23 January 2020 and PQ 21909 on 3 March, details of executive agencies and non-ministerial departments can be found on gov.uk.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many UK-owned offshore wind farm sites under construction are within the UK territorial water limit.

There is currently one offshore windfarm under construction within the UK territorial water limit (between 3 and 12 nautical miles), Neart Na Gaoithe, being built by EDF Renewables off the Fife coast in Scotland. The other windfarms under construction are being built in UK waters further from shore.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of skilled workers for employment on vessels engaged in construction and maintenance projects in the offshore wind sector.

In March 2020 the “Offshore wind Sector Deal - one year on” policy paper was published on the GOV.UK website, which includes a section on developing skills and improving diversity in the sector. It noted that the sector has introduced a workforce and skills model developed by the National Skills Academy for Rail to track and report on workforce data, and that data was being gathered from the operators, developers and original equipment manufacturers, with plans to gather data from regional offshore wind clusters over the longer term.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that vessels contracted to work on offshore wind farm developments in UK waters are based in UK ports for the duration of such contracts.

The Government is committed to ensuring the economic benefits to the UK arising from offshore wind deployment is maximised.

Developers of offshore wind farms and offshore wind turbine manufacturers are responsible for contracting for vessels to build offshore wind farms. This is a commercial matter for the companies concerned.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many successful applications have been made to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme from (a) medium-sized and (b) large business in the (i) transport and (ii) offshore energy sectors to date; and what the value is of those applications.

As of 7 June, 244 loans have been issued under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), with a total value of £1.57 billion.

Issuing new loans is the priority for lenders and the Government. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and the lenders on providing regular and transparent data publication going forward.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that major employers of UK seafarers do not make staff redundant due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. The scheme will help businesses to retain staff and reduce the need for redundancies.

Any entity with a UK payroll can apply to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as long as they have: (1) created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020, (2) enrolled for PAYE online and (3) a UK bank account. This applies to any employer, including those employing seafarers.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has now announced that the scheme will be extended, in full, until the end of July. After July, we will introduce more flexibility to the furlough scheme so that we move out of it in a measured way that protects people’s incomes and helps support furloughed employees as they return to work. This will run for three months from August through to the end of October.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to issue guidance on the reopening of caravan parks in accordance with the Good to Go pan-UK kite mark scheme for tourism businesses.

My Department has been working closely with the sector, including the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA), through the Visitor Economy Working Group to produce guidance on the reopening of the tourism sector. This will include guidance on hotels, caravans and other guest accommodation. This guidance will be published shortly.

VisitEngland are working on a common industry standard quality mark. Whilst work is ongoing, it will be designed to complement COVID-19 Secure Guidelines produced by the Government.

We will look at opening forms of holiday accommodation in Step 3 of the government’s recovery strategy, currently planned for 4 July at the earliest. This will be subject to the further scientific advice and the latest risk assessment at the time.

We remain in regular contact with caravan park stakeholders - including the BH&HPA - through the Visitor Economy Working Group and the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help apprentices catch up on practical learning missed due to the closure of colleges.

We are committed to supporting apprentices to safely continue and complete their apprenticeship.

Apprentices have been able to continue their training remotely and in COVID-safe workplaces, and apprentices who were due to undertake their end-point assessment in January, February or March are able to return to training providers’ venues if they need practical training.

Following the announcement from my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, on 22 February 2021, all further education learners and apprentices can return and access face-to-face teaching in training providers’ premises from 8 March 2021.

We have introduced a range of flexibilities to enable apprenticeships to continue wherever possible. Where training cannot continue, or where the remote delivery of off-the-job training or lack of access to the workplace compromises the quality of the apprenticeship, the employer or provider should initiate a break in the apprentice’s learning. When apprentices resume training, providers will be able to consider whether and how to reschedule the training to ensure the apprentice has every opportunity to complete their apprenticeship at the planned time.

We continue to work with employers, training providers and end-point assessment organisations to provide support and flexibilities to ensure apprentices have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete their apprenticeship programmes. Our guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to make additional funding available for the future of the Primary PE and Sport Premium scheme.

The Government will confirm arrangements for the PE and Sport Premium in the 2020-21 academic year as soon as possible. The position for the 2021-22 academic year and beyond will be considered at the forthcoming Spending Review.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many maritime apprenticeship starts there were in the Yorkshire and Humber region in each year from 2015-16 to 2018-19; and how many such apprenticehsips there have been in that region to date in 2019-20.

The attached table shows the number of apprenticeship starts in maritime-related apprenticeships in the Yorkshire and the Humber region from 2015/16 to Quarter 1 of 2019/20.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to help secure (a) existing investment in the distant waters fishing fleet on Humberside and (b) future investment in that fleet and associated infrastructure; and what comparative assessment he has made between (i) the combined value of those investments and (ii) the cost of establishing the proposed freeport across the Humber ports.

Significant funding is being made available by government to improve the infrastructure needed for the fishing industry, improve sustainability and help it adapt as we move away from the CFP.

The Government has announced £32.7 million in funding to support the seafood sector which meets the Government’s manifesto commitment to maintain funding for the sector. The new domestic funding scheme in England, the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme, opened on 6 April. This scheme will support the long-term sustainable growth of the seafood sector and includes support to deliver improvements to vessels and to support port infrastructure.

In addition to this support, on Christmas Eve the Prime Minister announced a further £100 million that will support investment to modernise and rejuvenate the sector. This will include funding for infrastructure projects that support the development and modernisation of ports, harbours, and landing sites across the UK in order to land, process and market more sustainably managed fish.

The Government has also safeguarded investment in the sector by making up to £23 million available to support seafood businesses affected by the impact of Covid-19 and new trading conditions. With regards to the proposed freeport, no comparative assessment has been conducted. However, freeports will play a significant role in boosting trade, attracting inward investment and driving productive activity across the UK. This will level up communities across the country through increased employment opportunities. This is more important than ever as we begin to recover from the ongoing economic impacts of Covid-19.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the economic effect of a potential loss of access to Arctic cod on (a) jobs and (b) investment in Humberside.

The UK remains in discussion with Norway on bilateral quota exchanges for 2021 across a range of stocks, including Arctic stocks. In conducting these discussions, the Government considers the interests of the entire UK and associated industries.

The Government will continue to work with all our fishing fleets and processors, so that they can take advantage of future opportunities.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of incorporating into future fisheries agreements between the UK and Norway (a) the terms of the agreement established in the Oporto letters and (b) all other terms of the existing agreements between the EU and Norway.

The UK-Norway fisheries framework agreement, signed on 30 September 2020, provides the legal framework for annual negotiations between the UK and Norway. These negotiations concern the exchange of quota between the parties and access to waters. This agreement respects other treaties to which the UK is already party.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the introduction of freeports on seafarer employment in the roll-on roll-off ferries sector.

Freeports will bring together ports, local authorities, businesses and other key local stakeholders to achieve a common goal of shared prosperity and opportunity for their regions. This is likely to increase jobs in the Humber region, including seafarer jobs due to greater shipping activity.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Humber Freeport on seafarer jobs in (a) Hull and (b) the Humber region.

Freeports will bring together ports, local authorities, businesses and other key local stakeholders to achieve a common goal of shared prosperity and opportunity for their regions. This is likely to increase jobs in the Humber region, including seafarer jobs due to greater shipping activity.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Budget 2021, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of freeports on the delivery of contracts with ferry operators recognised under the Freight Capacity Framework Agreement.

In the Budget speech on 3 March, the Chancellor announced that 8 Freeports would be created in 8 regions of England, as selected by the Secretary of State for the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government. Subject to agreeing the governance arrangements and successfully completing the business cases, these Freeports will begin operations from late 2021. The introduction of Freeports in late 2021 will not have an impact on GSFC routes as the current GSFC contracts run until 30 June 2021.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Humber Freeport on the employment conditions of seafarers employed by P&O Ferries on ferry routes between Hull and the Netherlands.

The UK’s eight newly established Freeports will be national hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities across the UK. Government will ensure that the UK’s high standards with respect to workers’ rights will not be compromised – like any other business in the UK.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made on ratifying ILO Convention 185 on Seafarers’ Identity Documents.

The UK currently recognises and accepts all seafarer identity documents that are compliant with ILO Convention 108, and will also accept documents compliant with ILO Convention 185 where the issuing State has previously ratified ILO 108. The UK was a major contributor to the drafting and subsequent amendments of ILO 185.

The pandemic has delayed progress but officials continue to work with Home Office on the significant technical, security and operational requirements that would need to be in place to allow ratification.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the contracts that his Department has signed with four ferry companies under the Freight Capacity Framework Agreement for additional roll-on roll-off freight capacity for a six-month period from 1 January 2021.

Following a robust procurement process, contracts were awarded to Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O Ferries and Stena Line on 13 October 2020. The contracts have already been published and are available via the Contracts Finder tool on gov.uk using the following references:

  • TMAR3048A DFDS Newhaven-Dieppe
  • TMAR3048B P&O Ferries Tilbury-Zeebrugge
  • TMAR3048C P&O Ferries Hull-Europort
  • TMAR3048D Brittany Ferries Poole-Cherbourg
  • TMAR3048E Stena Line Harwich – Hook of Holland
  • TMAR3049A P&O Ferries Tilbury - Zeebrugge
  • TMAR3049B DFDS Felixstowe - Vlaardingen
  • TMAR3049C Stena Line Harwich - Rotterdam
  • TMAR3049D P&O Ferries Teesport-Zeebrugge
  • TMAR3049E Brittany Ferries Portsmouth-Le Havre
Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the routes involving the Port of Hull in his Department’s Freight Capacity Framework Agreement contract with P&O Ferries for additional roll-on roll-off freight capacity for a six-month period from 1 January 2021.

Following a robust procurement process, contracts were awarded to Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O Ferries and Stena Line on 13 October 2020. There is one route involving the Port of Hull, through which P&O ferries will provide freight capacity between Hull and Europort Rotterdam.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of employment conditions for seafarers working on the Cypriot registered Seaways Strashnov transporting steel monopile (a) foundations and (b) transition pieces for installation at the site of the Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm on the UK Continental Shelf.

The vessel in question is registered in Cyprus and is currently operating out of the Netherlands. Cyprus has ratified the Maritime Labour Convention and the employment conditions on board must be in compliance with the Convention.

If there is reason to believe that the vessel is not in compliance, it should be brought either to the attention of the Dutch maritime authorities, as the port state for the vessel, or the Cypriot maritime authorities as the flag state.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 51908 on Ferries: Freight, if he will publish the names of the external experts that provided (a) legal, (b) technical and (c) financial advice on the design of the Public Service Obligation Agreements; and what the cost to the public purse was of that advice.

The Government is providing up to £35.2m in funding to maintain capacity for critical goods for 9 weeks across 16 critical freight routes. During the height of the crisis, we believed it was important to keep this vital flow of critical goods such as medicines and food into and across the UK.

The providers of expert advice are as follows:

  1. Legal advice - Slaughter & May

  2. Technical advice - Costain

  3. Financial advice - PwC

The amounts spent on the external experts to date are as follows:

  1. Slaughter & May - £394,048

  2. Costain - £188,676

  3. PwC - £178,058

These figures exclude VAT.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 June 2020 to Question 55949 on P&O Ferries: Coronavirus, whether he has held discussions with representatives from P&O Ferries on the implication for seafarers in Hull of that company's proposals for (a) making redundant full-time Ratings on the Pride of Hull and (b) retaining agency crew from the Philippines to work on that vessel.

I have met with both P&O Ferries and the maritime unions to discuss P&O’s redundancy proposal. As P&O remains in the consultation phase its proposals have not been finalised.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 51906 on Ferries: Freight, what recent estimate has made of the value of the Public Service Obligation agreements in place with operators on ferry routes from (a) Hull, (b) Dover and (c) other eligible routes from a UK port.

Payments on PSO routes are calculated using actual revenues each week, so final payments will depend on performance of both the freight and passenger market. Results for weeks to date are currently being assessed and final award values for those weeks are not yet known; details of the actual subsidy amounts paid will be published in due course.

The estimated values of the PSO Agreements at the point of contract award were published in the Official Journal of the European Union and were as follows:

Route

Operator

Estimated value at contract award

Portsmouth-Santander

Brittany Ferries

£1,508,265

Portsmouth-Cherbourg

Brittany Ferries

£1,042,551

Poole-Bilbao

Brittany Ferries

£370,395

Dover-Dunkerque

DFDS

£3,068,766

Dover-Calais

DFDS

£3,770,838

Folkestone-Coquelles

Eurotunnel

£3,431,863

Dover-Calais

P&O

£1,173,915

Cairnryan-Larne

P&O

£3,581,685

Tilbury-Zeebrugge

P&O

£2,053,206

Teesport-Europoort

P&O

£1,098,369

Hull-Europoort

P&O

£3,504,249 *

Hull-Zeebrugge

P&O

£1,842,210

Heysham-Warrenpoint

Seatruck

£849,159

Rotterdam-Killingholme

Stena

£2,018,547

Cairnryan-Belfast

Stena

£1,077,597

Harwich-Rotterdam

Stena

£1,822,365

Harwich-Hoek van Holland

Stena

£1,608,003

* The estimate for Hull-Europoort was later revised to £4,779,369.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 51906 on P&O Ferries, how much recognised revenue P&O Ferries has received from roll-on roll-off ferry services operated under Public Service Agreements with his Department from (a) Hull, (b) Dover, (c) Tilbury, (d) Teesport, (e) Cairnryan and (f) Larne ports from 11 May 2020 to date.

The Department holds information on revenues received, but will not release it as it is commercially sensitive and confidential.

Details of subsidy amounts paid out under the PSO Agreements will be published in due course.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with representatives from the UK Chamber of Shipping’s Ferry Recovery Group on P&O Ferries’ plans for redundancies of full time seafarers in (a) Hull and (b) Dover.

The Chamber of Shipping’s Ferry Recovery Group is an industry forum and does not have government participation. I and Senior Officials have had individual and group calls with a number of ferry operators and have regular dialogue with the UK Chamber of Shipping where views from the Ferry Recovery Group can be conveyed.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an estimate of the number of P&O Ferries employees on furlough who will be made redundant by the end of June 2020; and if he will make a statement.

My Department’s officials and I have been working closely with operators across the maritime sector including P&O Ferries, to understand the impacts and challenges they face from the global COVID-19 crisis. The Department recognises the contribution UK seafarers make to the economy and we remain committed to supporting them.

The government has announced an unprecedented package of financial measures to support businesses and employees through the Covid-19 pandemic, worth £350 billion. This package includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which will continue until the end of October.

On May 11 P&O issued notice that a 45-day statutory consultation period would commence over plans to make 1,100 staff redundant. The consultation covers all staff who work for P&O both on shore and in seafaring roles regardless of whether they are currently furloughed or not.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what external advice his Department received in designing the Public Service Obligations under which ferry operators are providing freight capacity on designated routes for nine-weeks from 11 May 2020.

The Department for Transport engaged external experts for legal, technical and financial advice on the design of the Public Service Obligation Agreements.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will hold discussions with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on the effect on crewing levels on roll-on roll-off ferries operated from (a) Hull and (b) Dover of P&O Ferries' announcement of 11 May 2020 on redundancies among (i) ratings and (ii) officers on those routes.

Crewing levels on all ships, including passenger ferries, are contained in the ship’s safe manning document as issued by the flag-State maritime administration in line with international principles.

The P&O ferries operating from (a) Hull and (b) Dover are Cypriot flagged and it is for the Cyprus Maritime Administration to determine the minimum safe manning levels.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s role as the port-State is to monitor the safe operation of these vessels through inspections.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 22 May 2020 to Question 46622, if he will list the value of the contracts awarded to P&O Ferries on routes from the port of Hull; and when he plans to provide the next update on the value of contracts with operators on all 16 routes.

Two Public Service Obligation (PSO) Agreements were awarded to P&O Ferries on routes from the Port of Hull. The value of the awards will depend on actual revenues and service level requirements during operation. The estimated value of these PSO Agreements at the point of contract award have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and are as follows:

  • PSO Agreement between Hull and Europoort Rotterdam: £3,504,249, – this has since been revised to £4,779,369.

  • PSO Agreement between Hull and Zeebrugge: £1,842,210

Further updates on the value of these PSO Agreements will be provided in due course.

There is no permissible revenue level defined in the Public Service Obligation (PSO) Agreements awarded to P&O Ferries on routes from the Port of Hull. All revenues paid or payable to the operator in connection with its operation of a route are considered as “Recognised Revenues” for the purposes of the PSO Agreements.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the permissible revenue levels are on the designated freight routes from the port of Hull being operated by P&O Ferries under a Public Service Obligation.

Two Public Service Obligation (PSO) Agreements were awarded to P&O Ferries on routes from the Port of Hull. The value of the awards will depend on actual revenues and service level requirements during operation. The estimated value of these PSO Agreements at the point of contract award have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and are as follows:

  • PSO Agreement between Hull and Europoort Rotterdam: £3,504,249, – this has since been revised to £4,779,369.

  • PSO Agreement between Hull and Zeebrugge: £1,842,210

Further updates on the value of these PSO Agreements will be provided in due course.

There is no permissible revenue level defined in the Public Service Obligation (PSO) Agreements awarded to P&O Ferries on routes from the Port of Hull. All revenues paid or payable to the operator in connection with its operation of a route are considered as “Recognised Revenues” for the purposes of the PSO Agreements.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on maritime employment of proposals by P&O Ferries proposals to make 160 seafarers on the (a) Pride of York and (b) Pride of Hull roll-on roll-off passenger ferries between Hull and Zeebrugge and Hull and Rotterdam redundant.

The Secretary of State for Transport maintains a close interest in the issues impacting UK seafarers and ferry operations. However, no such assessment has been made on those specific routes.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to protect workers in the (a) shipping and (b) ports sectors from redundancy during the covid-19 pandemic.

To support maritime businesses and seafarer jobs that have been impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19, the Government has made available a series of unprecedented financial support packages, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Any employer with a UK bank account and PAYE scheme is eligible for a grant to cover 80% of the wages of its employees, up to £2500 per month.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with (a) representatives of P&O Ferries and (b) trade unions on that company’s proposals for 1,100 redundancies among maritime workers on ferry routes from Hull and Dover; and if he will make a statement.

I have had continued engagement with a range of maritime and other transport operators during the pandemic. I have also met with the maritime Trade Unions, where current and future matters impacting workers, and the sector as a whole, were discussed, and will continue to have an ongoing dialogue with them.

I have spoken to both P&O and the Trade Unions regarding the challenges P&O are currently facing.

Due to the sensitive nature of this issue we assume talks will also be happening between P&O and the Trade Unions.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding from the public purse P&O Ferries has received to support (a) UK seafarer employment and (b) maritime supply chains during the covid-19 outbreak to date.

On 24 April Government committed to keeping freight flowing on routes into and across the UK. Following engagement with operators, DfT has awarded contracts for 16 routes with 6 operators, worth an estimated £34m over 2 months. The Department for Transport will publish regular updates on this support.

In addition, and to support maritime businesses and seafarer jobs, which have been impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19, the Government has made available unprecedented financial support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Any employer with a UK bank account and PAYE scheme is eligible for a grant to cover 80% of the wages of its employees, up to £2500 per month.

These measures are helping to ensure vital routes remain open for all companies, including P&O Ferries.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with DP World, owners of P&O Ferries Ltd on (a) furlough support for the wages of 1,400 P&O staff in the UK and (b) the proposal for 1,100 redundancies amongst P&O’s UK seafarers and other maritime staff in Dover and Hull.

The Department’s officials and I have been working closely with operators across the maritime sector including P&O Ferries, to understand the impacts and challenges they face from the global COVID-19 crisis. The Department recognises the contribution UK seafarers make to the economy and we remain committed to supporting them. On 24 April we announced a package of support to maintain services on critical freight routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and between Great Britain and mainland Europe.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many staff employed by P&O Ferries Ltd staff furloughed since 26 March 2020 worked on the port or on ferries from (a) Hull and (b) Dover.

P&O have around 1,400 staff enrolled on the furlough scheme. The specific number of P&O staff furloughed at the ports or ferries at Hull and Dover is not held by the Department for Transport

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether UK domiciled seafarers will be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

UK domiciled seafarers who are employed by an entity that has a UK PAYE scheme as at 19th March and a UK bank account are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the crewing of merchant ships on the (a) UK, (b) Red Ensign Group and (c) Flag of Convenience shipping registers during the covid-19 pandemic.

These matters are flag blind, I wrote to the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization on 23rd March stating that as a port state the UK will continue to recognise its international obligations and allow seafarers to transit and transfer in the UK and to access shore leave.

I have spoken with Lord Ahmad (Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) regarding specific issues with the repatriation of seafarers.

As the flag state authority, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has made specific measures in regard certification and employment to aid shipowners and seafarers with crewing arrangements.

24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect that restrictions on the international aviation industry in response to the pandemic covid-19 pandemic are having on the ability of the merchant shipping industry to ensure that merchant seafarers in the (a) UK and (b) international shipping industry can return home at the end of their contracted voyage in line with (i) the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Minimum Requirements for Seafarers etc.) Regulations 2014 and (ii) Regulation 2.5 of the Maritime Labour Convention.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has been very clear that the pandemic does not remove the duty of care that ship operators have to their seafarers.

I wrote to the UN agencies on 23rd March setting out the UK will continue to permit seafarers to transit and transfer in the UK and access to shore leave. This letter was shared with all state parties to the agencies. The ILO and the International Maritime Organization have also issued guidance to all state parties to recognise seafarers as key workers and to remind states of their obligations under international maritime law to facilitate the movement of seafarers and to allow seafarers to be repatriated.

I have spoken with Lord Ahmad (Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) regarding specific issues with the repatriation of seafarers.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a (a) fast-tracked and (b) fee-free SIA Licence application scheme for airport security personnel to enable those staff to be re-deployed during the covid-19 outbreak.

My Department is looking at ways to best ensure how those aviation personnel who are temporarily displaced from their jobs in aviation may be able to return to their roles quickly and with the minimum of delay when operations start to be resumed.

As aviation security personnel are exempt from SIA licensing, my officials are speaking with the Home Office to see what options may be possible should aviation security personnel wish to pursue security roles elsewhere.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending the minimum monthly hour requirements for air traffic controllers to enable staff who have self-isolated as a result of the covid-19 outbreak to re-enter the workforce without a delay.

The working time arrangements of air traffic controllers reflect the vital role they play in maintaining air safety. These arrangements are long standing and designed to ensure that controllers are physically and mentally fit to carry out their operational duties.

The current working time arrangements already provide some flexibility which could be used if deemed necessary. An air navigation service provider can seek an amendment to the working time arrangements for their unit from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) or in exceptional circumstances use its own discretion to modify them on a temporary basis.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the feasibility of relaxing the sixty day rule for airport security pass holders to allow pass holders that have not been in work as a result of the covid-19 outbreak to return without delay.

My Department and the Civil Aviation Authority are examining this issue amongst others, to ensure that when aviation operations resume, people can return to work as soon as possible.

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to monitor public health restrictions introduced in response to the covid-19 pandemic in countries that supply seafarer (a) ratings and (b) officers to the UK shipping industry.

The Department is monitoring several intelligence sources in regard the actions of other States in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and is noting measures put in place that may affect the transit and transfer of all seafarers and access to shore leave.

We are in regular contact with ship operators on the effects of pandemic on business.

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2020 to Question 25091, on Shipping: Apprentices, how many (a) deck, (b) engine and (c) catering rating apprentice starts there were in 2018-19; and, with reference to the UK Seafarer Projections 2016 commissioned by his Department, what comparative assessment he has made of the (i) current supply of newly trained ratings and (ii) projected demand from industry in each of the next four years.

Apprenticeship policy is a matter for the Department for Education. The statistics for apprenticeship numbers are published online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships#apprenticeship-starts-and-achievements

The number of apprenticeship starts for ratings in 2018-19 were (a) 45

Deck (Able Seafarer) and (b) 125 Engine Room Rating. Maritime caterer was not approved in time to appear in the 2018-19 data. No comparative assessment has been made of the current supply or projected demand for ratings. However, there has been encouraging uptake in apprenticeships in the Maritime sector. Government data shows the number of starts on maritime apprenticeships more than doubled between 2014-15 and 2017-18.

My Department continues to work with industry to support maritime apprenticeships for both seafaring and shore-based roles.

13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2020 to Question 25091, on Shipping: Apprentices, what the number of maritime apprentice starts was in 2018-19; and what assessment his Department has made of the annual demand for seafarers in the offshore energy sector in each of the next 10 years.

Apprenticeship policy is a matter for the Department for Education. The statistics for apprenticeship numbers are published online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships#apprenticeship-starts-and-achievements

There were 344 maritime apprenticeship starts in 2018-19. No assessment has been made of the annual demand for seafarers in the offshore energy sector.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the reasons for the change in the number of rating recorded in table SFR0303 of the Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry: 2019 statistical release of 11 December 2019.

The figures shown in table SFR0303 of the UK Seafarer Statistics are based on data collected via the annual Chamber of Shipping (CoS) Seafarer Employment Survey. During the data collection period, the Department liaises closely with the CoS to ensure the quality and completeness of the data is as high as possible, with a response rate of around 90% of eligible companies achieved in 2019, similar to previous years. The survey does not provide complete coverage of UK seafarers active at sea but does represent the best current estimate.

However, trends over time can be impacted by changes in membership or operations. For example, if a large company decided to move its operations or crewing outside the UK, this could result in large fluctuations in the figures.

The Department has introduced measures to support greater training opportunities for ratings. We continue to work with stakeholders to promote the training and employment of all UK seafarers.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support has been provided by UK Ship Register officials to (a) crew and (b) passengers on the cruise liner Diamond Princess after the outbreak of covid-19 on that ship.

The Diamond Princess is registered with the United Kingdom. As Flag State, our obligations under the international Maritime Labour Convention include safeguarding the welfare and well-being of all the crew, not just those who were UK nationals, and that they could all access, amongst other things, medical support, as and when they needed it.

During the quarantine period of the Diamond Princess the UK government acted on behalf of the safety and well-being of a) the crew and b) the passengers. UK officials in my Department and at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, as well as valuable consular support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Tokyo, worked closely with the ship-owner, Carnival Cruises, the Japanese Government and their health authorities in Yokohama to ensure the well-being and safety of all persons on board and limit the risk of contagion spreading.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the progress the Merchant Navy Training Board has made in promoting the training of (a) ratings and (b) cadets since 2015 to date.

The Department does not assess the Merchant Navy Training Board’s progress in promoting ratings and cadet training.

Officials from the Department for Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency sit on the Merchant Navy Training Board with observer status. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency are there primarily as a regulator of standards against the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the take-up of (a) apprenticeships and (b) the apprenticeship levy among employers in the shipping industry.

There have been no discussions between the Secretary of State for Transport the Secretary of State for Education on the take up of apprenticeships and the levy amongst employers in the shipping industry.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 5 April 2019 to Question 239228 on Shipping: Equality, what the Reducing Regulation Committee’s decision was on the Post Implementation Review of the Equality Act 2010 (Work on Ships and Hovercraft) Regulations 2011; and when he plans to publish that Post Implementation Review.

My Department has been awaiting the legal outcome of the employment tribunal – Walker v Wallem Shipmanagement, in which a female seafarer was discriminated against during the recruitment process because of her sex. This case pertained to the Equality Act 2010 (Work on Ships and Hovercraft) Regulations 2011. The tribunal’s judgement raises concerns about loopholes in the Regulations designed to protect seafarers. Addressing any potential issue would require a legislative amendment and will need to be addressed separately, while we continue with the publication of the Post Implementation Review.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the planned timescale is for resuming face-to-face benefits assessments during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Honourable gentleman will find details of our plans to resume face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits published on GOV.UK.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to resume face-to-face medical assessments for (a) universal credit and (b) employment support allowance claimants.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 14 December to Question UIN 126162.

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Child Maintenance Service in enforcing payments for resident parents during the covid-19 outbreak.

Paying parents are still expected to pay child maintenance throughout this period. We know the vast majority of parents take their responsibilities extremely seriously and will do whatever is needed to ensure their children are supported. Where payments have been missed we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal.

In order to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run, we will update cases with notified changes as soon as possible. Where payments have been missed the Service will take action to re-establish compliance and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued.

No one will get away with giving false information. Those found to be abusing the system can be subjected to the full extent of our enforcement powers and the Child Maintenance Service will pursue these, where appropriate.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his guidance is on the covid-19 vaccine for people with a terminal diagnosis.

For the first phase of the vaccination programme, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors.

Included in this are individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable and individuals with certain underlying health conditions, including immunosuppression, which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. Some terminal illnesses, such as specific cancers, are considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable, will be prioritised for a vaccine in cohort four.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will clarify his Department's advice on people with a penicillin allergy receiving the covid-19 vaccine.

People with a penicillin allergy should be able to receive the currently authorised Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines as the final vaccine products do not contain penicillin. The COVID-19 vaccines should not be given to those who have had a previous systemic allergic reaction, including immediate-onset anaphylaxis, to a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine or to any component of the vaccine. If people have any specific concerns as to whether they can receive the vaccine, they should ask their general practitioner or consultant team.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including prison officers on the priority list for covid-19 vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that phase one of the vaccine programme will have the prevention of mortality at the forefront of its objectives, as well as to support the National Health Service and social care system.  For the first phase, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors. Included in this are those with underlying health conditions, which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.

Prison officers who are eligible for a vaccine, based on the JCVI’s prioritisation, will be offered a vaccine in line with clinical advice. Phase two may include further reduction in hospitalisation and targeted vaccination of those at high risk of exposure and/or those delivering key public services.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis was for his decision (a) to implement mass covid-19 testing of secondary school pupils in London and the South-East and (b) not to implement that testing in (i) Yorkshire and the Humber and (ii) other regions of England.

The decision to implement testing of secondary school pupils in London and the South East on 10 December was based on public health recommendations informed by a comparative analysis by region of the following factors: case rates in all age groups and, in particular, among over 60 year olds; how quickly case rates were rising or falling; the number of positive cases as a proportion of tests taken; current and projected pressure on the National Health Service; and other circumstances such as local outbreaks. At the time, the case rates in London and the South East were 271 and 217 respectively per 100,000 population, compared with 208 in the region with the next highest case rates.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to consult trade unions on (a) employment rights and (b) governance structures before the eight Freeports announced in the Budget statement on 3 March 2021 begin operating.

The government is pleased to have announced the locations of 8 new English Freeports at Budget. The Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government will shortly publish the rationale behind the selection of these Freeport locations according to the process laid out in the Prospectus.

Successful bidders will be confirmed subject to a business case review, agreement of governance arrangements, and the fulfilment of the appropriate authorisations.

Freeports are not deregulatory and the government will ensure that the UK’s high standards with respect to workers’ rights will not be compromised.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Humber Freeport bid included commitments to maintain existing collective bargaining agreements with trade unions organising seafarers working on merchant ships working from Hull port; and if he will place a copy of that bid in the Library.

The government is pleased to have announced the locations of 8 new English Freeports at Budget. The Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government will shortly publish the rationale behind the selection of these Freeport locations according to the process laid out in the Prospectus.

Successful bidders will be confirmed subject to a business case review, agreement of governance arrangements, and the fulfilment of the appropriate authorisations.

Freeports are not deregulatory and the government will ensure that the UK’s high standards with respect to workers’ rights will not be compromised.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will list the employers that are participating in Project Birch.

The Government does not comment on individual cases but will notify Parliament of the spending incurred as the result of any support provided.
Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will undertake an economic impact assessment of plans by P&O Ferries to make 1,100 staff redundant by the end of June 2020.

The Government recognises that the news regarding job losses at P&O will be distressing for employees and their families.

We encourage all firms, including those in the maritime sector, to draw on the unprecedented package of measures we have made available to support them through this time.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to protect the employment of seafarers in the shipping industry after the implementation of changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 1 July 2020.

As of 7th June 8.9 million workers have been furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), with a total of £19.6bn claimed. From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim for the hours not worked. Employers will need to agree any flexible furlough arrangements with employees.

From August 2020, the level of the grant will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. To enable the introduction of flexible furloughing, and support those already furloughed back to work, claims from July onwards will be restricted to employers currently using the scheme and previously furloughed employees. Further information about the scheme can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Shipping companies may also benefit from a range of other schemes. The Business Support website provides further information about the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2020 to Question 46626 on Ferries: Coronavirus, whether the support awarded by the Department for Transport to freight operators is backdated to 24 April 2020; and if he will list those operators in receipt of public support under those contracts.

Support is being provided to maintain capacity on 16 critical freight routes (listed below) to help ensure critical goods can move freely. These routes are run by the following 6 operators: Brittany Ferries; DFDS; Eurotunnel; P&O; Seatruck; and Stena. Contracts with these operators are in place for 9 weeks from 11 May and are not backdated.

Route:

  • Portsmouth-Santander
  • Portsmouth-Cherbourg
  • Poole-Bilbao
  • Dover-Dunkerque
  • Dover-Calais
  • Folkestone-Coquelles
  • Cairnryan-Larne
  • Tilbury-Zeebrugge
  • Teesport-Europoort
  • Hull-Europoort
  • Hull-Zeebrugge
  • Heysham-Warrenpoint
  • Rotterdam-Killingholme
  • Cairnryan-Belfast
  • Harwich-Rotterdam
  • Harwich-Hoek van Holland
Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 22 May 2020 to Question 46622, how much P&O Ferries has received from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to date.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20 April. By midnight 31 May 2020, 1.1m employers had submitted claims to HMRC representing 8.7m furloughed employments and £17.5bn. HMRC do not comment on identifiable taxpayers.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support has been provided by the public purse to employers operating roll-on roll-off passenger ferries from UK ports to mitigate the financial effect of the reduction in (a) passenger and (b) car traffic due the covid-19 outbreak to date.

The Government has already announced a range of measures to support all businesses, including roll-on roll-off ferry operators. In addition, on 24 April Government committed to keeping freight flowing on routes into and across the UK. Following engagement with operators, DfT has awarded contracts for 16 routes with 6 operators, worth an estimated £34m over 2 months. DfT will publish regular updates on this package.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether foreign shipping companies operating from UK ports are eligible for Government assistance in paying 80 per cent of seafarers’ wages under the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Any entity with a UK payroll can apply to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as long as they have: (1) created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020, (2) enrolled for PAYE online and (3) a UK bank account. This applies to any organisation including those listed in these questions. Further guidance can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether offshore-registered crewing agencies supplying seafarers to the UK shipping industry are eligible for Government assistance in paying 80 per cent of seafarers’ wages under the terms of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Any entity with a UK payroll can apply to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as long as they have: (1) created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020, (2) enrolled for PAYE online and (3) a UK bank account. This applies to any organisation including those listed in these questions. Further guidance can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will issue guidance to (a) seafarers, (b) shipping companies and (c) international shipping registers working or operating in the UK shipping industry on access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Any entity with a UK payroll can apply to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as long as they have: (1) created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020, (2) enrolled for PAYE online and (3) a UK bank account. This applies to any organisation including those listed in these questions. Further guidance can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department’s December 2020 update to the Offshore wind workers Immigration Rules concession 2017, if she will list the companies in the offshore wind farm sector that have taken steps to regularise the position of their workers since that concession was introduced.

The Government has no plans to publish information on which companies are regularising the stay of their workers.

The information about the concession is published online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/offshore-wind-workers-immigration-rules-concession-2017.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representations she received from (a) employers and (b) employers’ organisations prior to her Department's extension to the Offshore wind workers Immigration Rules concession 2017; and if she will make a statement.

The Government is committed to making the UK a global leader in green energy and supporting the offshore windfarm sector is a key part of this commitment.

The information about the concession is published online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/offshore-wind-workers-immigration-rules-concession-2017.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department’s December 2020 update to the Offshore wind workers Immigration Rules concession 2017, how many non-EEA workers to date have been given leave to enter the UK under the terms of that concession.

The Home Office does not collect and store this data.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who were formerly Released Under Investigation were (a) NFA, (b) charged and (c) convicted in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The Government does not hold the information on how many people who were formerly Released Under Investigation were (a) no fixed action (NFA); (b) charged and (c) convicted.

Decisions on whether to use pre-charge bail or release suspects pending further enquiries are operational matters for individual police forces and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

The Government completed its public consultation on the pre-charge bail system, including release under investigation, on 29 May 2020. Analysis of the results from this consultation is ongoing and the Government response will be published later this year.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors held a (a) civil and (b) criminal legal aid contract as of 1 April 2021.

Please note for the figures provided that firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,090 Providers who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,439 Providers who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 7th April 2021.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors held a (a) civil and (b) criminal legal aid contract on (i) 1 March 2021 and (ii) 1 March 2020.

Please note for the figures provided, firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,104 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,445 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 8 March 2021.

As at March 2020 there were 1,150 firms holding a Criminal Legal Aid Contract, and 1,500 firms holding a Civil Legal Aid Contract.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to ensure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a list of (a) criminal legal aid providers and (b) civil legal aid providers as of March 2020.

A list of current contracted legal aid providers is published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/directory-of-legal-aid-providers.

As at March 2020, there were 1,500 firms who held a civil legal aid contract, and 1,150 who held a criminal legal aid contract.

The details of those providers are attached.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors held a (a) civil and (b) criminal legal aid contract as at 1 February 2021.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,109 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,447 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 1 February 2021.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many hardship payments have been claimed by legal aid providers to date; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of those payments in supporting advocates.

Between 1 May 2020 to 8 January 2021, a total of 2,343 hardship claims were received, which includes those made by both litigators and advocates. The LAA made payment in respect of over 99% of these claims. In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MoJ brought in Regulation changes which substantially lowered the thresholds at which a hardship claim can be submitted.

The LAA keeps the criminal legal aid market under constant review. We have contacted all providers where the majority of their income from publicly funded work is dependent upon the Crown Court. The small minority that reported that they had financial concerns are being monitored on a regular basis.

The long-term sustainability of the criminal legal aid market will be the focus of an independent review, to launch in January 2021. This is the latest step in the Criminal Legal Aid Review, which has already led to up to £51m per year in new payments for the sector that was announced in the summer. It forms part of wider work to ensure criminal defence remains an enduringly attractive career for practitioners.

In addition to the support schemes offered by the government, the LAA has introduced a number of measures to allow providers to be paid more quickly. All of the measures taken by the LAA are set out on our gov.uk page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-legal-aid-agency-contingency-response#financial-relief-page.

Across the LAA’s civil funding schemes, namely family mediation, legal help, controlled legal representation, and civil representation, there were 277,829 live cases unbilled as at the 30 September 2020, which is the latest period for which these figures are available. The LAA statistics compiled and published on a quarterly basis, as yet the December 2020 figures are not yet finalised.

The LAA is unable to provide volumes on unbilled criminal legal aid work within the costs limit. This is because our systems do not have a ‘final bill indicator’ that would enable automated searches meaning we would be required to conduct case by case searches. Therefore, the information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what volume of civil legal aid work remains unbilled.

Between 1 May 2020 to 8 January 2021, a total of 2,343 hardship claims were received, which includes those made by both litigators and advocates. The LAA made payment in respect of over 99% of these claims. In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MoJ brought in Regulation changes which substantially lowered the thresholds at which a hardship claim can be submitted.

The LAA keeps the criminal legal aid market under constant review. We have contacted all providers where the majority of their income from publicly funded work is dependent upon the Crown Court. The small minority that reported that they had financial concerns are being monitored on a regular basis.

The long-term sustainability of the criminal legal aid market will be the focus of an independent review, to launch in January 2021. This is the latest step in the Criminal Legal Aid Review, which has already led to up to £51m per year in new payments for the sector that was announced in the summer. It forms part of wider work to ensure criminal defence remains an enduringly attractive career for practitioners.

In addition to the support schemes offered by the government, the LAA has introduced a number of measures to allow providers to be paid more quickly. All of the measures taken by the LAA are set out on our gov.uk page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-legal-aid-agency-contingency-response#financial-relief-page.

Across the LAA’s civil funding schemes, namely family mediation, legal help, controlled legal representation, and civil representation, there were 277,829 live cases unbilled as at the 30 September 2020, which is the latest period for which these figures are available. The LAA statistics compiled and published on a quarterly basis, as yet the December 2020 figures are not yet finalised.

The LAA is unable to provide volumes on unbilled criminal legal aid work within the costs limit. This is because our systems do not have a ‘final bill indicator’ that would enable automated searches meaning we would be required to conduct case by case searches. Therefore, the information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what volume of criminal legal aid work remains unbilled.

Between 1 May 2020 to 8 January 2021, a total of 2,343 hardship claims were received, which includes those made by both litigators and advocates. The LAA made payment in respect of over 99% of these claims. In light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MoJ brought in Regulation changes which substantially lowered the thresholds at which a hardship claim can be submitted.

The LAA keeps the criminal legal aid market under constant review. We have contacted all providers where the majority of their income from publicly funded work is dependent upon the Crown Court. The small minority that reported that they had financial concerns are being monitored on a regular basis.

The long-term sustainability of the criminal legal aid market will be the focus of an independent review, to launch in January 2021. This is the latest step in the Criminal Legal Aid Review, which has already led to up to £51m per year in new payments for the sector that was announced in the summer. It forms part of wider work to ensure criminal defence remains an enduringly attractive career for practitioners.

In addition to the support schemes offered by the government, the LAA has introduced a number of measures to allow providers to be paid more quickly. All of the measures taken by the LAA are set out on our gov.uk page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-legal-aid-agency-contingency-response#financial-relief-page.

Across the LAA’s civil funding schemes, namely family mediation, legal help, controlled legal representation, and civil representation, there were 277,829 live cases unbilled as at the 30 September 2020, which is the latest period for which these figures are available. The LAA statistics compiled and published on a quarterly basis, as yet the December 2020 figures are not yet finalised.

The LAA is unable to provide volumes on unbilled criminal legal aid work within the costs limit. This is because our systems do not have a ‘final bill indicator’ that would enable automated searches meaning we would be required to conduct case by case searches. Therefore, the information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance he has issued on the taking control of goods by enforcement agents for the duration of national covid-19 restrictions in England.

In light of the extraordinary circumstances engendered by the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has taken steps to ensure that enforcement activity is conducted safely and in accordance with the public health measures in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

This includes the publication of Covid-secure guidance for those using the taking control of goods procedure, which has been in place since enforcement at homes was permitted to resume in August 2020. The guidance requires a consideration of the health risks and sets out the steps that enforcement agents and firms should take in order to ensure they operate safely, including: adhering to social distancing requirements; use of suitable PPE; and withdrawing and re-scheduling their visit for a later time if a household is symptomatic or self-isolating.

The guidance is titled Working safely during COVID-19: enforcement agents (bailiffs) and is available on Gov.uk. It is kept under review to ensure it continues to reflect the latest public health advice.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors held (a) a civil and (b) a criminal legal aid contract as of 1 December 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,122 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,460 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 14 December 2020.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of victims of domestic abuse who have been denied legal aid as a result of trapped capital in the form of property which cannot be sold or borrowed against.

The government is absolutely clear that victims of domestic abuse must have access to the help that they need, including access to legal aid. For victims of domestic abuse seeking a protective injunction, the upper income and capital thresholds are waived. This means that anyone can financially qualify for this type of legal aid, subject to potentially making a contribution to the costs of the case depending on their means. Applications for legal aid are assessed against statutory eligibility criteria, and any capital held is taken into account or disregarded to the extent the Regulations either require or permit.

In February 2019 we announced a review of the means test. The review is assessing the effectiveness with which the test protects access to justice, and we are specifically considering the experiences of victims of domestic abuse. 95% of applications for legal aid in the ‘Domestic Violence’ category of law were granted in the most recent completed financial year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance his Department has issued to enforcement agents on taking control of goods during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

On 6 November, the Lord Chancellor wrote to the enforcement agent trade associations asking their members not to enter homes to take control of goods during the period of time that the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.4) Regulations 2020 (the health protection regulations) are in force.

On 16 November the Government laid the Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020. From 17 November, the regulations prevent enforcement agents taking control of goods inside homes while the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.4) Regulations 2020 are in force. They also prevent enforcement agents from enforcing evictions (other than in limited circumstances) until 11 January.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether any exemptions to the normal practice of enforcement action have been specified by his Department for the duration of the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

On 6 November, the Lord Chancellor wrote to the enforcement agent trade associations asking their members not to enter homes to take control of goods during the period of time that the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.4) Regulations 2020 (the health protection regulations) are in force.

On 16 November the Government laid the Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020. From 17 November, the regulations prevent enforcement agents taking control of goods inside homes while the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.4) Regulations 2020 are in force. They also prevent enforcement agents from enforcing evictions (other than in limited circumstances) until 11 January.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the statutory basis is for his request to the Chairman of The High Court Enforcement Officers Association for enforcement agents not to enter residential properties for the purpose of enforcement.

The Guidance was issued by the Lord Chancellor pursuant to his functions, duties and powers in relation to the civil justice system, including his general duty under section 1 of the Courts Act 2003 to ensure that there is an efficient and effective system to carry on the business of the High Court and the county court, and his common law powers under the Ram doctrine.

On 16 November the Government laid the Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020. From 17 November, the regulations prevent enforcement agents taking control of goods inside homes while the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.4) Regulations 2020 are in force. They also prevent enforcement agents from enforcing evictions (other than in limited circumstances) until 11 January.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the modelling in respect of the criminal courts backlog published by CREST Advisory on 30 October 2020.

CREST Advisory’s report highlighted the challenges of running the criminal courts during COVID where the need to maintain social distancing has limited the courts abilities to use court capacity. However, the modelling carried out of the criminal courts by CREST Advisory, represented an extreme scenario showing vast rises in charging of crimes which do not bear reasonable scrutiny. They also fail to take account of our extensive efforts to limit the impact of the pandemic on the justice system. As a result of these measures, magistrates’ courts are completing more cases than they are receiving and are tackling the number of outstanding cases. We’ve installed Perspex into more than 300 rooms to significantly increase volumes in the Crown Court and there are now over 250 rooms safely open for jury trials.

My department will next week publish updated projections of the prison population as National Statistics which will show how we expect demand for prisons places to change in coming years.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much money from the public purse was spent on civil legal aid from 1 March 2020 to 31 October 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,130 firms which hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,466 firms which hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 2 November 2020.

Information on legal aid expenditure is published in the Legal Aid Agency’s National Statistics, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics. At the time of writing, the most recent period for which data has been published covers up to and including March 2020; pre-publication laws preclude us from releasing figures for subsequent months at this time. Figures are also available under the closed claim expenditure measure in the same release with data up to June 2020 available. This provides only the total value of payments made to legal aid providers in relation to pieces of work that are completed in the period, and which could cover wide time periods, but does not include income received or expenditure in relation to debt write-offs.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Earlier this year we announced an independent review to look at the sustainability of the legal aid market and have introduced changes to inject up £51m per year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many courts in England and Wales are accessible for disabled users; and what steps he has taken to improve access for disabled users of the courts system.

We are committed to ensuring our courts are accessible to all our users and we aim to list cases at suitable venues when there are access needs. We are unable to provide information on the number of courts that are accessible for disabled users in the time allocated.

HMCTS will provide reasonable adjustments for court and tribunal users with disabilities and takes steps to avoid treating people less favourably because of their disability. Court and tribunal users are encouraged to get in touch before a hearing to discuss any particular adjustments they may need. Various mitigations will be explored, depending on the support required. For buildings, adjustments may include use of video-conferencing from a remote site, ensuring venues have ramps or accessible toilets, lifts able to accommodate wheelchairs, or hearing loops.

The modernisation and investment taking place across the justice system will mean that fewer people will need to attend court, as we make use of technology such as video-conferencing and online services. We have rapidly expanded our audio and video technology capability in direct response to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), enabling more remote hearings which reduce the need for people to attend a physical court building.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much money from the public purse was spent on criminal legal aid for from 1 March 2020 to 31 October 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,130 firms which hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,466 firms which hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 2 November 2020.

Information on legal aid expenditure is published in the Legal Aid Agency’s National Statistics, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics. At the time of writing, the most recent period for which data has been published covers up to and including March 2020; pre-publication laws preclude us from releasing figures for subsequent months at this time. Figures are also available under the closed claim expenditure measure in the same release with data up to June 2020 available. This provides only the total value of payments made to legal aid providers in relation to pieces of work that are completed in the period, and which could cover wide time periods, but does not include income received or expenditure in relation to debt write-offs.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Earlier this year we announced an independent review to look at the sustainability of the legal aid market and have introduced changes to inject up £51m per year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors held a civil legal aid contract as of 1 November 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,130 firms which hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,466 firms which hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 2 November 2020.

Information on legal aid expenditure is published in the Legal Aid Agency’s National Statistics, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics. At the time of writing, the most recent period for which data has been published covers up to and including March 2020; pre-publication laws preclude us from releasing figures for subsequent months at this time. Figures are also available under the closed claim expenditure measure in the same release with data up to June 2020 available. This provides only the total value of payments made to legal aid providers in relation to pieces of work that are completed in the period, and which could cover wide time periods, but does not include income received or expenditure in relation to debt write-offs.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Earlier this year we announced an independent review to look at the sustainability of the legal aid market and have introduced changes to inject up £51m per year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors held a criminal legal aid contract as of 1 November 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,130 firms which hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,466 firms which hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 2 November 2020.

Information on legal aid expenditure is published in the Legal Aid Agency’s National Statistics, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics. At the time of writing, the most recent period for which data has been published covers up to and including March 2020; pre-publication laws preclude us from releasing figures for subsequent months at this time. Figures are also available under the closed claim expenditure measure in the same release with data up to June 2020 available. This provides only the total value of payments made to legal aid providers in relation to pieces of work that are completed in the period, and which could cover wide time periods, but does not include income received or expenditure in relation to debt write-offs.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Earlier this year we announced an independent review to look at the sustainability of the legal aid market and have introduced changes to inject up £51m per year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether enforcement agent home visits will continue in regions placed in (a) Tier 2 and (b) Tier 3 during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is clear that enforcement activity must be conducted safely and in accordance with the public health measures in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Currently, enforcement agents should not enter residential properties in areas that are classified as Local Alert Level 2 (high) or 3 (very high), for the purposes of enforcement. This position has been set out in HMCTS operational guidance for County Court bailiffs and by the Lord Chancellor in correspondence to the enforcement trade associations. The Government is keeping the approach under review.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors hold a civil legal aid contract as of 1 October 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,136 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,471 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 7 October 2020.

The Legal Aid Agency tracks the number of contracted providers, not the number of individual practitioners who work in either criminal or civil law.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Earlier this year we announced an independent review to look at the sustainability of the legal aid market and have introduced changes to inject up £51m per year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors held a criminal legal aid contract on October 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,136 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,471 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 7 October 2020.

The Legal Aid Agency tracks the number of contracted providers, not the number of individual practitioners who work in either criminal or civil law.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Earlier this year we announced an independent review to look at the sustainability of the legal aid market and have introduced changes to inject up £51m per year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many solicitors are undertaking legal aid work in criminal law as of 1 October 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,136 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,471 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 7 October 2020.

The Legal Aid Agency tracks the number of contracted providers, not the number of individual practitioners who work in either criminal or civil law.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Earlier this year we announced an independent review to look at the sustainability of the legal aid market and have introduced changes to inject up £51m per year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many solicitors are undertaking legal aid work in civil law as of 1 October 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,136 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,471 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 7 October 2020.

The Legal Aid Agency tracks the number of contracted providers, not the number of individual practitioners who work in either criminal or civil law.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Earlier this year we announced an independent review to look at the sustainability of the legal aid market and have introduced changes to inject up £51m per year.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction of standard monthly payments to criminal legal aid firms on those firms.

At present, 17% of all crime accounts are paid under the Standard Monthly Payment (‘SMP’) model. The remainder have opted for Variable Monthly Payments, which pays the actual value of the claim submitted each month. Firms can elect to be paid by either model, according to which may be most advantageous to them. SMPs relate to Controlled Work services only, and therefore reflect a proportion of a provider’s total revenue.

The number of those accounts paid via SMP which have seen a reduction in payments since July 2020 represents 6% of all crime accounts. Where a reduction is necessary, this takes effect following the Legal Aid Agency notifying providers of this in advance. Firms facing financial hardship can discuss payment options further with their LAA Contract Manager.

The LAA has implemented several changes to maintain cashflow to firms and to allow firms to be paid more quickly – through these changes we can inject up to £51 million per year into criminal legal aid. We have begun a review into how criminal lawyers are compensated for their work: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/criminal-legal-aid/criminal-legal-aid-review/.

In addition to the support schemes offered by the government, we have continued to pay providers on time and introduced a number of measures to speed up payments to providers. All of the measures taken by the LAA are set out on our gov.uk page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-legal-aid-agency-contingency-response#financial-relief-page.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of hearings in the criminal courts have taken place (a) virtually and (b) physically since April 2020.

The proportion of hearings in the criminal courts, that have taken place virtually and physically is shown in the HMCTS data below:

Number of Hearings by method for the period April to September 2020 (up to 7th September 2020); for Crime jurisdiction

Total number of hearings held, mostly conducted face-to-face

146,862

34.8%

Total number of hearings held, mostly conducted using an audio platform.

20,812

4.9%

Total number of hearings held, mostly conducted using a video platform.

169,316

40.2%

Total number of other hearings conducted.

84,487

20.0%

Total

421,477

NOTES:

Data provided is for Crown and Magistrates only (and excludes multi jurisdictional courts including those which are within scope), therefore the information presented is likely to be an under-representation of the actual totals

Source: HMCTS management information - daily SitRep which may not be completed everyday by all courts

This data is collected as Management Information and therefore maybe subject to ongoing changes and revision

Data are management information and are not subject to the same level of checks as official statistics.

The data provided is the most recent available and for that reason might differ slightly from any previously published information.

Data has not been cross referenced with case files.

Initially the Sit Rep report did not fully capture all potential hearing types. As a result the option of “other” was included and predominantly reflects “paper trials”

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Bar Council's July 2020 survey which found that 38 per cent of criminal barristers are uncertain whether they will still be practising law in 2021.

Criminal defence lawyers play a crucial role in upholding the rule of law and the Government greatly values the work they do.

To support the profession through the Covid-19 pandemic, we sought to improve the cashflow for the profession and provide support for legal aid practitioners. The changes made ensured that for work done in the Crown Court, practitioners were able to claim hardship payments for £450 worth of work done instead of £5,000, from 1 month after instruction (as opposed to 6 months). The LAA have also halted debt collection and increased the limits for payments on account claims.

The Crown Court resumed jury trials in May with the full support of Public Health England and Public Health Wales. This was ahead of all other comparable systems. Since then we have significantly expanded our capacity, opening more than 100 jury trial courtrooms safely. The Court Recovery plan, published on Monday 7 September, outlines the steps we will take to open 250 rooms by the end of October.

More recently, we announced in August that we would be taking forward the policy proposals from the accelerate areas of the Criminal Legal Aid Review (CLAR) that practitioners told us mattered most. These areas were:?unused material, cracked trials, paper-heavy cases, sending cases to the Crown Court, and?pre-charge engagement. These policies allowed us to inject between £36million to £51million into criminal legal aid.

As the pandemic has thrown into sharp focus the concerns about the sustainability of the market, in announcing the conclusions to the accelerated areas we also announced that the next phase of CLAR should involve an independently-led review. This review will be ambitious and far reaching in scope, assessing the criminal legal aid system in its entirety, and will aim to improve transparency, efficiency, sustainability and outcomes in the legal aid market.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors hold a criminal legal aid contract as at 1 September 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,138 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,478 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 7 September 2020.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors hold a civil legal aid contract as of 1 September 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,138 firms who hold a Criminal Legal Aid Contract. There are currently 1,478 firms who hold a Civil Legal Aid Contract. This data is correct as at 7 September 2020.

The Legal Aid Agency frequently reviews market capacity to make sure there is adequate provision around the country and moves quickly to ensure provision where gaps may appear.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the additional criminal court capacity created by reducing the number of jurors from 12 to seven due to the social distancing guidance of one metre plus in those courts.

There are currently no plans to legislate to reduce the statutory minimum number of jurors. Were the Ministry to propose any legislation we would provide full details of any sunset clause.

HMCTS has published a Court Recovery Plan which summarises the measures that are being taken. The Court Recovery Plan can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus Jury trials have safely resumed in most Crown Courts and we have announced a number of Nightingale Courts which will further support recovery.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to include a sunset clause in legislative reform to jury trials during the covid-19 outbreak.

There are currently no plans to legislate to reduce the statutory minimum number of jurors. Were the Ministry to propose any legislation we would provide full details of any sunset clause.

HMCTS has published a Court Recovery Plan which summarises the measures that are being taken. The Court Recovery Plan can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus Jury trials have safely resumed in most Crown Courts and we have announced a number of Nightingale Courts which will further support recovery.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the extra capacity required to reduce the backlog of outstanding cases in the criminal courts.

There are currently no plans to legislate to reduce the statutory minimum number of jurors. Were the Ministry to propose any legislation we would provide full details of any sunset clause.

HMCTS has published a Court Recovery Plan which summarises the measures that are being taken. The Court Recovery Plan can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus Jury trials have safely resumed in most Crown Courts and we have announced a number of Nightingale Courts which will further support recovery.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of criminal court rooms have been in use in each criminal court on each day in the last 12 months.

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the length of time it will take to clear the backlog in the criminal courts of England and Wales.

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented challenge for the criminal justice system, but we have kept courts open and cases flowing through the system throughout. The UK has been a global leader and we are ahead of comparable systems.

HMCTS has now published a Court Recovery Plan, which sets out that court operating hours will be extended, alternative venues will be used as courts to increase capacity and the use of the Cloud Video Platform (CVP) will be rolled out into all Magistrates’ and Crown Courts. Further measures to increase jury trial capacity are also being explored. The Court Recovery Plan can be accessed via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus

Public confidence requires cases to be dealt with in a timely manner and the backlog must be addressed. This goal will require ambition from the whole system. We have recently announced a record investment in court infrastructure and maintenance. We’re recruiting more court staff and we will shortly be making an announcement on use of additional court centres.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has consulted (a) legal practitioners and (b) other stakeholders on plans to reintroduce Flexible Operating Hours in the courts.

The Flexible Operating Hours pilots took place at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the County Court at Brentford from September 2019 to March 2020. Local Implementation Teams, which include legal representatives and local support groups, were set up in Manchester and Brentford to plan and deliver the pilots. To support a cross-justice system approach to the evaluation of the pilots HMCTS set up an Evaluation Advisory Group which includes representatives from the judiciary, partner government agencies, the Bar Council, the Bar Standards Board, the Law Society and CILEx.

HMCTS has appointed a consortium of IFF Research and Frontier Economics to carry out an independent evaluation of the Flexible Operating Hours pilots. The evaluation is being conducted as set out in the evaluation plan, published July 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flexible-operating-hours-evaluation-plan-and-summary. The evaluation report will be published following completion, in the autumn and we will consider its findings carefully.

Proposals to extend court operating hours are being considered as part of the HMCTS recovery plan. Working groups under the leadership of judiciary have been established to develop these proposals which include members of the legal profession across the jurisdictions.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much it costs on average to process each defendant in the Crown Court.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service currently does not calculate the average cost to process each defendant in the crown court.

Historically costs have been calculated around such metrics as the unit cost of a sitting day in the crown court, but we are unable to calculate the average cost of processing a defendant in the crown court.

Criminal cases may be multi handed resulting in multiple defendants in one trial. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service has been working over the last 12 months to establish a variety of key financial metrics around the unit costs associated with various volumetrics.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much it costs on average to process each defendant in the magistrates court.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service currently does not calculate the average cost to process each defendant in the magistrates’ court.

Historically costs have been calculated around such metrics as the unit cost of a sitting day in the magistrates’ court. We are unable to calculate the average cost of processing a defendant in the magistrates’ court. Magistrates operate several sessions across a sitting day, which may be multi handed resulting in multiple defendants in one trial.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service has been working over the last 12 months to establish a variety of key financial metrics around the unit cost associated with various volumetrics.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors hold a criminal legal aid contract as at 1 July 2020.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than one office. There are currently 1,146 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,694 offices. This data is correct as at 2 July 2020.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions his Department has had with the Home Office on their consultation on proposals for reviewing pre-charge bail legislation; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the 2017 pre-charge bail reforms on criminal defence solicitors.

MoJ officials including representatives from the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and Home Office officials have been in contact on a regular basis since the review into “Release under investigation” (RUI) was announced in November 2019.

Following COVID-19, the consultation deadline was extended to end of May 2020. The consultation has now closed, with over 1000 responses received.

The 2017 Bail Act changes introduced a presumption against bail, with police forces increasingly using ‘Release Under Investigation’ (RUI) powers. In those cases where bail is considered appropriate, police forces must apply to a Magistrate to extend pre-charge bail beyond 3 months.

In response to these changes, the LAA made amendments to the 2017 Standard Crime Contract to ensure that legal aid funding is available for defendants in these new Magistrates’ Court proceedings. The LAA also amended legal aid contracts to allow providers to submit a claim for payment within one month of being notified of an ‘RUI’. That claim can be reopened at a later date if the police investigation continues and further work is done.

This amendment was in response to concern from defence practitioner bodies that any delays in investigations could delay the point at which they can apply for payment for work done on legal aid cases.

All amendments to the legal aid contract were undertaken in consultation with the Law Society and other representative bodies.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending the Standard Monthly Payments received by legal aid firms to support those firms during the covid-19 outbreak.

Firms can elect to be paid by either Standard or Variable Monthly Payments, according to which model may be most advantageous to them. The MoJ continues to review the potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on legal aid providers and to consider what more might be done to support them. The Legal Aid Agency has published the details of the current options for financial relief available to providers during the COVID-19 outbreak at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-relief-for-legal-aid-practitioners.

The number of active housing legal aid providers is published by the Legal Aid Agency online, and has remained largely static since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak has affected the volume of work available to housing legal aid firms, and we are closely monitoring this impact.

At present housing advice is available at 434 offices in England and Wales. The volume of providers holding legal aid contracts at any given time is subject to change due to market forces and other factors. From March to the present date, 7 offices in total have ceased to provide housing services, due to reasons not specifically associated with the effects of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Justice held a consultation on increasing the number of requests for payment on account that may be made per year. The consultation closed on 16 June 2020, and the limit will be increased from two to four permissible within a twelve-month period. This will be implemented once the necessary updates to infrastructure are completed, and the impact of this change will be kept under review.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the number of housing legal aid providers.

Firms can elect to be paid by either Standard or Variable Monthly Payments, according to which model may be most advantageous to them. The MoJ continues to review the potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on legal aid providers and to consider what more might be done to support them. The Legal Aid Agency has published the details of the current options for financial relief available to providers during the COVID-19 outbreak at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-relief-for-legal-aid-practitioners.

The number of active housing legal aid providers is published by the Legal Aid Agency online, and has remained largely static since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak has affected the volume of work available to housing legal aid firms, and we are closely monitoring this impact.

At present housing advice is available at 434 offices in England and Wales. The volume of providers holding legal aid contracts at any given time is subject to change due to market forces and other factors. From March to the present date, 7 offices in total have ceased to provide housing services, due to reasons not specifically associated with the effects of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Justice held a consultation on increasing the number of requests for payment on account that may be made per year. The consultation closed on 16 June 2020, and the limit will be increased from two to four permissible within a twelve-month period. This will be implemented once the necessary updates to infrastructure are completed, and the impact of this change will be kept under review.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing legal aid firms to bill more than twice in 12 months for money owed on cases.

Firms can elect to be paid by either Standard or Variable Monthly Payments, according to which model may be most advantageous to them. The MoJ continues to review the potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on legal aid providers and to consider what more might be done to support them. The Legal Aid Agency has published the details of the current options for financial relief available to providers during the COVID-19 outbreak at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-relief-for-legal-aid-practitioners.

The number of active housing legal aid providers is published by the Legal Aid Agency online, and has remained largely static since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. The outbreak has affected the volume of work available to housing legal aid firms, and we are closely monitoring this impact.

At present housing advice is available at 434 offices in England and Wales. The volume of providers holding legal aid contracts at any given time is subject to change due to market forces and other factors. From March to the present date, 7 offices in total have ceased to provide housing services, due to reasons not specifically associated with the effects of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Justice held a consultation on increasing the number of requests for payment on account that may be made per year. The consultation closed on 16 June 2020, and the limit will be increased from two to four permissible within a twelve-month period. This will be implemented once the necessary updates to infrastructure are completed, and the impact of this change will be kept under review.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much the Legal Aid Agency has paid out (a) since 31 March 2020 and (b) for a comparable period of time in the last three years with regard to (i) closed cases and (ii) payments on account.

The most recent statistics published for the Legal Aid Agency cover up to and including March 2020. Figures for quarters of the 2020/21 financial year are scheduled for future release, and as such payment data for part (a) of question 62405 cannot yet be provided. The figures for part (b) of the question are displayed below, matching the equivalent period of April, May and June inclusive for each financial year:

Claims for Civil Representation – First Quarter Only

Completed case expenditure (where costs met by LAA)

Payments on account (live cases)

Q1 2017/18

£153,943,450.58

£53,508,814.89

Q1 2018/19

£149,331,830.09

£61,087,711.51

Q1 2019/20

£168,696,887.77

£68,007,236.47

The figure of £100m referred to by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State was based upon estimates produced by the Ministry of Justice relating to unbilled work for completed cases. The breakdown of the estimates is as follows:

  • Criminal Legal Aid in relation to representation in the Crown Court and Higher Courts

- £130m

  • Civil Legal Aid in relation to representation in the civil and family courts

- £80m

All of the above estimates of unbilled work pertain to the position as at 31st March 2020.

As at 31st March 2020, the estimate produced by the Ministry of Justice of the amounts available for legal aid providers to claim in relation to unbilled work on completed matters were –

  • Criminal Legal Aid in relation to representation in the Crown Court and Higher Courts

- £130m

  • Civil Legal Aid in relation to representation in the civil and family courts

- £80m

As at 31st March 2020, the estimate produced by the Ministry of Justice of the amount available for legal aid providers to claim in relation to payment on account for civil matters pertaining to representation in the civil and family courts was £165m.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the oral evidence of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State's evidence to the Justice Select Committee on 4 May 2020, Q131 HC299, what the unbilled amount of legal aid of over £100m is by legal area.

The most recent statistics published for the Legal Aid Agency cover up to and including March 2020. Figures for quarters of the 2020/21 financial year are scheduled for future release, and as such payment data for part (a) of question 62405 cannot yet be provided. The figures for part (b) of the question are displayed below, matching the equivalent period of April, May and June inclusive for each financial year:

Claims for Civil Representation – First Quarter Only

Completed case expenditure (where costs met by LAA)

Payments on account (live cases)

Q1 2017/18

£153,943,450.58

£53,508,814.89

Q1 2018/19

£149,331,830.09

£61,087,711.51

Q1 2019/20

£168,696,887.77

£68,007,236.47

The figure of £100m referred to by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State was based upon estimates produced by the Ministry of Justice relating to unbilled work for completed cases. The breakdown of the estimates is as follows:

  • Criminal Legal Aid in relation to representation in the Crown Court and Higher Courts

- £130m

  • Civil Legal Aid in relation to representation in the civil and family courts

- £80m

All of the above estimates of unbilled work pertain to the position as at 31st March 2020.

As at 31st March 2020, the estimate produced by the Ministry of Justice of the amounts available for legal aid providers to claim in relation to unbilled work on completed matters were –

  • Criminal Legal Aid in relation to representation in the Crown Court and Higher Courts

- £130m

  • Civil Legal Aid in relation to representation in the civil and family courts

- £80m

As at 31st March 2020, the estimate produced by the Ministry of Justice of the amount available for legal aid providers to claim in relation to payment on account for civil matters pertaining to representation in the civil and family courts was £165m.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the funds available to legal aid practitioners with regard to (a) unclaimed costs for completed matters and (b) payments on account.

The most recent statistics published for the Legal Aid Agency cover up to and including March 2020. Figures for quarters of the 2020/21 financial year are scheduled for future release, and as such payment data for part (a) of question 62405 cannot yet be provided. The figures for part (b) of the question are displayed below, matching the equivalent period of April, May and June inclusive for each financial year:

Claims for Civil Representation – First Quarter Only

Completed case expenditure (where costs met by LAA)

Payments on account (live cases)

Q1 2017/18

£153,943,450.58

£53,508,814.89

Q1 2018/19

£149,331,830.09

£61,087,711.51

Q1 2019/20

£168,696,887.77

£68,007,236.47

The figure of £100m referred to by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State was based upon estimates produced by the Ministry of Justice relating to unbilled work for completed cases. The breakdown of the estimates is as follows:

  • Criminal Legal Aid in relation to representation in the Crown Court and Higher Courts

- £130m

  • Civil Legal Aid in relation to representation in the civil and family courts

- £80m

All of the above estimates of unbilled work pertain to the position as at 31st March 2020.

As at 31st March 2020, the estimate produced by the Ministry of Justice of the amounts available for legal aid providers to claim in relation to unbilled work on completed matters were –

  • Criminal Legal Aid in relation to representation in the Crown Court and Higher Courts

- £130m

  • Civil Legal Aid in relation to representation in the civil and family courts

- £80m

As at 31st March 2020, the estimate produced by the Ministry of Justice of the amount available for legal aid providers to claim in relation to payment on account for civil matters pertaining to representation in the civil and family courts was £165m.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many civil legal aid claims for asylum appeal cases exceeded the escape fee from legal aid providers in (a) London and (b) England and Wales.

FINANCIAL YEAR

LONDON ESCAPE CLAIMS

ALL ESCAPE CLAIMS

2016-17

415

469

2017-18

462

507

2018-19

528

600

2019-20*

347

404

*Please note: The figures for the year 2019-20 covers only the months April to December 2019.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much was spent on free and independent police station advice across England and Wales in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Expenditure on police station advice is published as part of Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics. This data can be viewed by accessing Column ‘L’ of the table 2.2 at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019

The number of claims received by the Legal Aid agency for police station attendances is also published in the Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics at table 2.1, please note that the number of claims for ‘attendances’ can be found at Column C. These are a specific subset of total claims for all types of police station advice which can be found at Column L of the same table

This information is not held by the Ministry of Justice because the Legal Aid Agency does not record this type of information about Legal Aid Providers.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than 1 office. There are currently 1,147 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,697 offices. This data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2021/21 (at June 20)

New Firms

12

165

1

6

8

5

87

5

115

5

3

0

New Offices

14

187

1

6

8

8

87

5

131

6

4

0

Please note ‘New firms’ may be the result of mergers and acquisitions outside of the tender process. Firms may have withdrawn and then re-entered into new contract later. This data has been provided on yearly basis as the data is too granular to provide month on month changes - the year end position has been shown for active firms/offices. There were formal tenders in 2010 and 2017, hence the larger numbers. In 2015/16 after the competitive tender was set aside new firms that had been successful in their bid for an own client contract were allowed to deliver services. The data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

As at 1 June 2020 we have 4455 duty solicitors listed on our database allocated slots for the current rota period. The LAA publishes the duty solicitor rotas here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/duty-solicitors-rotas-information-and-guidance#duty-solicitor-rotas-1st-april-2020-to-september-30-2020---first-publication

There are 2063 reps which includes probationary and accredited on the current list and it is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-crime-contract-2017

We are aware that the Covid19 restrictions have had an impact on the volume of work conducted by Legal Aid providers. The LAA have been in contact with providers to assess the impact on their businesses. Many have reported taking advantage of the schemes made available by HMT and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many claims were submitted to the Legal Aid Agency for police station attendances in England and Wales in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Expenditure on police station advice is published as part of Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics. This data can be viewed by accessing Column ‘L’ of the table 2.2 at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019

The number of claims received by the Legal Aid agency for police station attendances is also published in the Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics at table 2.1, please note that the number of claims for ‘attendances’ can be found at Column C. These are a specific subset of total claims for all types of police station advice which can be found at Column L of the same table

This information is not held by the Ministry of Justice because the Legal Aid Agency does not record this type of information about Legal Aid Providers.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than 1 office. There are currently 1,147 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,697 offices. This data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2021/21 (at June 20)

New Firms

12

165

1

6

8

5

87

5

115

5

3

0

New Offices

14

187

1

6

8

8

87

5

131

6

4

0

Please note ‘New firms’ may be the result of mergers and acquisitions outside of the tender process. Firms may have withdrawn and then re-entered into new contract later. This data has been provided on yearly basis as the data is too granular to provide month on month changes - the year end position has been shown for active firms/offices. There were formal tenders in 2010 and 2017, hence the larger numbers. In 2015/16 after the competitive tender was set aside new firms that had been successful in their bid for an own client contract were allowed to deliver services. The data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

As at 1 June 2020 we have 4455 duty solicitors listed on our database allocated slots for the current rota period. The LAA publishes the duty solicitor rotas here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/duty-solicitors-rotas-information-and-guidance#duty-solicitor-rotas-1st-april-2020-to-september-30-2020---first-publication

There are 2063 reps which includes probationary and accredited on the current list and it is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-crime-contract-2017

We are aware that the Covid19 restrictions have had an impact on the volume of work conducted by Legal Aid providers. The LAA have been in contact with providers to assess the impact on their businesses. Many have reported taking advantage of the schemes made available by HMT and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many paralegals work for firms of solicitors with a criminal legal aid contract.

Expenditure on police station advice is published as part of Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics. This data can be viewed by accessing Column ‘L’ of the table 2.2 at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019

The number of claims received by the Legal Aid agency for police station attendances is also published in the Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics at table 2.1, please note that the number of claims for ‘attendances’ can be found at Column C. These are a specific subset of total claims for all types of police station advice which can be found at Column L of the same table

This information is not held by the Ministry of Justice because the Legal Aid Agency does not record this type of information about Legal Aid Providers.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than 1 office. There are currently 1,147 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,697 offices. This data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2021/21 (at June 20)

New Firms

12

165

1

6

8

5

87

5

115

5

3

0

New Offices

14

187

1

6

8

8

87

5

131

6

4

0

Please note ‘New firms’ may be the result of mergers and acquisitions outside of the tender process. Firms may have withdrawn and then re-entered into new contract later. This data has been provided on yearly basis as the data is too granular to provide month on month changes - the year end position has been shown for active firms/offices. There were formal tenders in 2010 and 2017, hence the larger numbers. In 2015/16 after the competitive tender was set aside new firms that had been successful in their bid for an own client contract were allowed to deliver services. The data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

As at 1 June 2020 we have 4455 duty solicitors listed on our database allocated slots for the current rota period. The LAA publishes the duty solicitor rotas here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/duty-solicitors-rotas-information-and-guidance#duty-solicitor-rotas-1st-april-2020-to-september-30-2020---first-publication

There are 2063 reps which includes probationary and accredited on the current list and it is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-crime-contract-2017

We are aware that the Covid19 restrictions have had an impact on the volume of work conducted by Legal Aid providers. The LAA have been in contact with providers to assess the impact on their businesses. Many have reported taking advantage of the schemes made available by HMT and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many firms of solicitors hold a criminal legal aid contract as at 1 June 2020.

Expenditure on police station advice is published as part of Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics. This data can be viewed by accessing Column ‘L’ of the table 2.2 at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019

The number of claims received by the Legal Aid agency for police station attendances is also published in the Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics at table 2.1, please note that the number of claims for ‘attendances’ can be found at Column C. These are a specific subset of total claims for all types of police station advice which can be found at Column L of the same table

This information is not held by the Ministry of Justice because the Legal Aid Agency does not record this type of information about Legal Aid Providers.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than 1 office. There are currently 1,147 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,697 offices. This data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2021/21 (at June 20)

New Firms

12

165

1

6

8

5

87

5

115

5

3

0

New Offices

14

187

1

6

8

8

87

5

131

6

4

0

Please note ‘New firms’ may be the result of mergers and acquisitions outside of the tender process. Firms may have withdrawn and then re-entered into new contract later. This data has been provided on yearly basis as the data is too granular to provide month on month changes - the year end position has been shown for active firms/offices. There were formal tenders in 2010 and 2017, hence the larger numbers. In 2015/16 after the competitive tender was set aside new firms that had been successful in their bid for an own client contract were allowed to deliver services. The data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

As at 1 June 2020 we have 4455 duty solicitors listed on our database allocated slots for the current rota period. The LAA publishes the duty solicitor rotas here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/duty-solicitors-rotas-information-and-guidance#duty-solicitor-rotas-1st-april-2020-to-september-30-2020---first-publication

There are 2063 reps which includes probationary and accredited on the current list and it is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-crime-contract-2017

We are aware that the Covid19 restrictions have had an impact on the volume of work conducted by Legal Aid providers. The LAA have been in contact with providers to assess the impact on their businesses. Many have reported taking advantage of the schemes made available by HMT and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many new law firms have obtained a criminal legal aid contract in each year since 2010.

Expenditure on police station advice is published as part of Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics. This data can be viewed by accessing Column ‘L’ of the table 2.2 at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019

The number of claims received by the Legal Aid agency for police station attendances is also published in the Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics at table 2.1, please note that the number of claims for ‘attendances’ can be found at Column C. These are a specific subset of total claims for all types of police station advice which can be found at Column L of the same table

This information is not held by the Ministry of Justice because the Legal Aid Agency does not record this type of information about Legal Aid Providers.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than 1 office. There are currently 1,147 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,697 offices. This data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2021/21 (at June 20)

New Firms

12

165

1

6

8

5

87

5

115

5

3

0

New Offices

14

187

1

6

8

8

87

5

131

6

4

0

Please note ‘New firms’ may be the result of mergers and acquisitions outside of the tender process. Firms may have withdrawn and then re-entered into new contract later. This data has been provided on yearly basis as the data is too granular to provide month on month changes - the year end position has been shown for active firms/offices. There were formal tenders in 2010 and 2017, hence the larger numbers. In 2015/16 after the competitive tender was set aside new firms that had been successful in their bid for an own client contract were allowed to deliver services. The data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

As at 1 June 2020 we have 4455 duty solicitors listed on our database allocated slots for the current rota period. The LAA publishes the duty solicitor rotas here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/duty-solicitors-rotas-information-and-guidance#duty-solicitor-rotas-1st-april-2020-to-september-30-2020---first-publication

There are 2063 reps which includes probationary and accredited on the current list and it is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-crime-contract-2017

We are aware that the Covid19 restrictions have had an impact on the volume of work conducted by Legal Aid providers. The LAA have been in contact with providers to assess the impact on their businesses. Many have reported taking advantage of the schemes made available by HMT and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Duty Solicitors there are in England and Wales as at 1 June 2020.

Expenditure on police station advice is published as part of Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics. This data can be viewed by accessing Column ‘L’ of the table 2.2 at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019

The number of claims received by the Legal Aid agency for police station attendances is also published in the Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics at table 2.1, please note that the number of claims for ‘attendances’ can be found at Column C. These are a specific subset of total claims for all types of police station advice which can be found at Column L of the same table

This information is not held by the Ministry of Justice because the Legal Aid Agency does not record this type of information about Legal Aid Providers.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than 1 office. There are currently 1,147 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,697 offices. This data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2021/21 (at June 20)

New Firms

12

165

1

6

8

5

87

5

115

5

3

0

New Offices

14

187

1

6

8

8

87

5

131

6

4

0

Please note ‘New firms’ may be the result of mergers and acquisitions outside of the tender process. Firms may have withdrawn and then re-entered into new contract later. This data has been provided on yearly basis as the data is too granular to provide month on month changes - the year end position has been shown for active firms/offices. There were formal tenders in 2010 and 2017, hence the larger numbers. In 2015/16 after the competitive tender was set aside new firms that had been successful in their bid for an own client contract were allowed to deliver services. The data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

As at 1 June 2020 we have 4455 duty solicitors listed on our database allocated slots for the current rota period. The LAA publishes the duty solicitor rotas here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/duty-solicitors-rotas-information-and-guidance#duty-solicitor-rotas-1st-april-2020-to-september-30-2020---first-publication

There are 2063 reps which includes probationary and accredited on the current list and it is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-crime-contract-2017

We are aware that the Covid19 restrictions have had an impact on the volume of work conducted by Legal Aid providers. The LAA have been in contact with providers to assess the impact on their businesses. Many have reported taking advantage of the schemes made available by HMT and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many accredited police station representatives there are in England and Wales as at 1 June 2020.

Expenditure on police station advice is published as part of Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics. This data can be viewed by accessing Column ‘L’ of the table 2.2 at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019

The number of claims received by the Legal Aid agency for police station attendances is also published in the Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics at table 2.1, please note that the number of claims for ‘attendances’ can be found at Column C. These are a specific subset of total claims for all types of police station advice which can be found at Column L of the same table

This information is not held by the Ministry of Justice because the Legal Aid Agency does not record this type of information about Legal Aid Providers.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than 1 office. There are currently 1,147 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,697 offices. This data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2021/21 (at June 20)

New Firms

12

165

1

6

8

5

87

5

115

5

3

0

New Offices

14

187

1

6

8

8

87

5

131

6

4

0

Please note ‘New firms’ may be the result of mergers and acquisitions outside of the tender process. Firms may have withdrawn and then re-entered into new contract later. This data has been provided on yearly basis as the data is too granular to provide month on month changes - the year end position has been shown for active firms/offices. There were formal tenders in 2010 and 2017, hence the larger numbers. In 2015/16 after the competitive tender was set aside new firms that had been successful in their bid for an own client contract were allowed to deliver services. The data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

As at 1 June 2020 we have 4455 duty solicitors listed on our database allocated slots for the current rota period. The LAA publishes the duty solicitor rotas here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/duty-solicitors-rotas-information-and-guidance#duty-solicitor-rotas-1st-april-2020-to-september-30-2020---first-publication

There are 2063 reps which includes probationary and accredited on the current list and it is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-crime-contract-2017

We are aware that the Covid19 restrictions have had an impact on the volume of work conducted by Legal Aid providers. The LAA have been in contact with providers to assess the impact on their businesses. Many have reported taking advantage of the schemes made available by HMT and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the number of law firms holding a criminal legal aid contract.

Expenditure on police station advice is published as part of Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics. This data can be viewed by accessing Column ‘L’ of the table 2.2 at this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/legal-aid-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019

The number of claims received by the Legal Aid agency for police station attendances is also published in the Legal Aid Agency’s Quarterly Statistics at table 2.1, please note that the number of claims for ‘attendances’ can be found at Column C. These are a specific subset of total claims for all types of police station advice which can be found at Column L of the same table

This information is not held by the Ministry of Justice because the Legal Aid Agency does not record this type of information about Legal Aid Providers.

Please note for the figures provided that some firms may have more than 1 office. There are currently 1,147 firms holding a criminal legal aid contract, and this equates to 1,697 offices. This data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2021/21 (at June 20)

New Firms

12

165

1

6

8

5

87

5

115

5

3

0

New Offices

14

187

1

6

8

8

87

5

131

6

4

0

Please note ‘New firms’ may be the result of mergers and acquisitions outside of the tender process. Firms may have withdrawn and then re-entered into new contract later. This data has been provided on yearly basis as the data is too granular to provide month on month changes - the year end position has been shown for active firms/offices. There were formal tenders in 2010 and 2017, hence the larger numbers. In 2015/16 after the competitive tender was set aside new firms that had been successful in their bid for an own client contract were allowed to deliver services. The data is correct at 3rd June 2020.

As at 1 June 2020 we have 4455 duty solicitors listed on our database allocated slots for the current rota period. The LAA publishes the duty solicitor rotas here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/duty-solicitors-rotas-information-and-guidance#duty-solicitor-rotas-1st-april-2020-to-september-30-2020---first-publication

There are 2063 reps which includes probationary and accredited on the current list and it is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standard-crime-contract-2017

We are aware that the Covid19 restrictions have had an impact on the volume of work conducted by Legal Aid providers. The LAA have been in contact with providers to assess the impact on their businesses. Many have reported taking advantage of the schemes made available by HMT and we continue to monitor the situation closely.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending claim frequency limits for civil legal aid practitioners.

We have already taken steps to provide emergency support for work completed on paper-based certificates, with contingency measures temporarily in place for payments on account. These special payments on account will not be subject to payment at 75%, nor will they be restricted to two claims in 12 months. Further guidance on these arrangements can be found at https://ccmstraining.justice.gov.uk/training-resources/billing-contingency-measures.

For non-paper-based certificates, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) are reviewing the two claims limit as a matter of urgency.

The LAA is working to ensure it can continue to support the legal aid sector, helping them maintain access to justice for their clients at this time. The LAA has published guidance on the support available to the legal sector including claiming a payment on account, to provide financial assistance for costs incurred by practitioners over the course of a legal aid certificate. This guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-relief-for-legal-aid-practitioners.

Timescales for the payments of civil bills are published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/civil-processing-dates, and claims are currently being considered within three working days of being received.

The MoJ and LAA continue to review the impact of covid-19 on legal aid practitioners, and ensure that the most vulnerable in society are provided with the representation they need.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of legal aid provision for victims of domestic abuse during the covid-19 lockdown.

Victims of domestic abuse must have access to the help they need - including legal aid, which is subject to a means and merits test. We are working closely with practitioners to understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on victims and this week the Government announced funding of £800,000 for a helpline and email service to assist unrepresented victims applying for an emergency protective order from the courts.

The Legal Aid Agency is exercising flexibility with regard to the evidential requirements in relation to the means test to mitigate the effects caused by lockdown measures. This includes suspending the time limits by which applicants are expected to submit the substantive legal aid application with supporting means evidence (such as bank statements) and allowing practitioners to submit applications with electronic signatures from the client.

We recognise that victims of domestic abuse may need legal aid quickly in emergency situations, so there is already an eligibility cap waiver in place, which means that an applicant for a protective injunction may be eligible for legal aid even if they have income or capital above the thresholds in the means test, though they may have to pay a financial contribution towards their legal costs. We are currently conducting a review of the means test, as part of which we are considering the experiences of particular groups of legal aid applicants – including victims of domestic abuse.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps she has taken to provide non means-tested legal aid for victims of domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

Victims of domestic abuse must have access to the help they need - including legal aid, which is subject to a means and merits test. We are working closely with practitioners to understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on victims and this week the Government announced funding of £800,000 for a helpline and email service to assist unrepresented victims applying for an emergency protective order from the courts.

The Legal Aid Agency is exercising flexibility with regard to the evidential requirements in relation to the means test to mitigate the effects caused by lockdown measures. This includes suspending the time limits by which applicants are expected to submit the substantive legal aid application with supporting means evidence (such as bank statements) and allowing practitioners to submit applications with electronic signatures from the client.

We recognise that victims of domestic abuse may need legal aid quickly in emergency situations, so there is already an eligibility cap waiver in place, which means that an applicant for a protective injunction may be eligible for legal aid even if they have income or capital above the thresholds in the means test, though they may have to pay a financial contribution towards their legal costs. We are currently conducting a review of the means test, as part of which we are considering the experiences of particular groups of legal aid applicants – including victims of domestic abuse.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he has taken to expedite claims made to the Legal Aid Agency by civil legal aid practitioners.

The LAA is working to ensure it can continue to support the legal support sector, helping them maintain access to justice to their vulnerable clients. Details of what financial relief may be available for practitioners facing cashflow problems can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/financial-relief-for-legal-aid-practitioners.

Timescales for the payments of civil bills are published at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/civil-processing-dates, and claims are currently being considered within three working days of being received. Providers may request payment ‘on account’ where necessary, subject to any applicable conditions set out in the relevant contract/regulations, to put them in funds while the billing assessment process is completed.

The LAA continues to review what more might be done to ease both immediate liquidity concerns, and also to consider the potential impacts of any future losses of income on providers.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he had made of the effect of means testing for legal aid on victims of domestic abuse.

Victims of domestic abuse must have access to the help they need - including legal aid, which is subject to a means and merits test. We are working closely with practitioners to understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on victims and this week the Government announced funding of £800,000 for a helpline and email service to assist unrepresented victims applying for an emergency protective order from the courts.

The Legal Aid Agency is exercising flexibility with regard to the evidential requirements in relation to the means test to mitigate the effects caused by lockdown measures. This includes suspending the time limits by which applicants are expected to submit the substantive legal aid application with supporting means evidence (such as bank statements) and allowing practitioners to submit applications with electronic signatures from the client.

We recognise that victims of domestic abuse may need legal aid quickly in emergency situations, so there is already an eligibility cap waiver in place, which means that an applicant for a protective injunction may be eligible for legal aid even if they have income or capital above the thresholds in the means test, though they may have to pay a financial contribution towards their legal costs. We are currently conducting a review of the means test, as part of which we are considering the experiences of particular groups of legal aid applicants – including victims of domestic abuse.

Alex Chalk
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)