Documents to download

On 6 May 2020, the House of Lords is due to hold a debate on the Windrush compensation scheme.

In late 2017, the Guardian published a series of articles drawing attention to certain immigration cases. They highlighted the cases of longstanding UK residents who were facing deportation because of difficulties proving their lawful immigration status. Over the following months, continued coverage told stories of individuals who had lost jobs and homes, as well as their access to healthcare and the welfare state, because of these issues. The group affected is often referred to as the Windrush generation, and as a result the problem became known as the Windrush scandal.

In April 2018, the Government acknowledged that members of the Windrush generation, and other Commonwealth citizens, had been treated unfairly. To address the issues, in April 2019 it announced the Windrush compensation scheme in addition to other actions. The Government announced several changes to the scheme in February and March this year.

The scheme will be funded under provisions of the Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill, which completed its parliamentary stages on 21 April 2020 and is currently waiting royal assent. Until the bill becomes law, a ministerial direction is providing authority for payments.

Opposition parties have welcomed the idea of compensation for Windrush victims. However, some MPs and Peers have argued the scheme has several problems. In addition, both the Guardian and compensation recipients have been critical. Issues raised include:

  • ownership of the scheme;
  • application process and burden of proof; and
  • delays in payments and amounts awarded.

In March 2020, Wendy Williams published her independent Windrush Lessons Learned Review. The Home Office commissioned the review to provide an independent assessment of the events leading up to the Windrush scandal (particularly from 2008 to March 2018) and identify key lessons for the department. She found that despite the Home Office being taken by surprise, Windrush was “foreseeable and avoidable”. Wendy Williams made 30 recommendations.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • The UK economy in the 1950s

    This briefing is the first of a series on the post-war history of the UK economy. The series will go decade-by-decade from the 1950s onwards, providing an overview of the key macroeconomic developments of each decade. This first briefing looks at the 1950s. The economy expanded significantly over the course of this decade, fluctuating between periods of high and low growth, generating broad-based real-terms income growth across the country.

    The UK economy in the 1950s
  • Fire safety regulations: Reform for furniture and buildings in England

    The government has proposed changes to how fire safety standards for furniture and furnishings are regulated in England. Scientists and the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee have raised concerns that current regulations incentivise the use of flame-retardant chemicals, which have environmental and health impacts. The regulatory framework for fire safety in buildings in England has also been reformed following the Grenfell Tower fire and the Building Safety Act 2022.

    Fire safety regulations: Reform for furniture and buildings in England