Government amendments to opt out clause for social work October 2016

This blog post sets out the amendments proposed by the Minister Lord Nash to the Children and Social Work Bill in early November 2016. The amendments dealt with not-for-profit companies, reference to welfare of children, and setting up an expert panel.

AT REPORT STAGE, PEERS VOTED TO REMOVE THESE CLAUSES FROM THE BILL ALTOGETHER. HOWEVER, IN EARLY DECEMBER 2016 THE GOVERNMENT PROPOSED TO REINTRODUCE THE CLAUSES. 

As explained here, the Bill has begun in the Lords, so has yet to go through the House of Commons.

All Government Bills (Public Bills) have their own page. The Children and Social Work Bill is here.  To check amendments, you need to click on “all Bill documents”.

allbill

The “all Bill documents” page has a list of amendments (correct as of the morning, November 8th 2016)

amendmentpapers

  • Initially, the amendments are included as they are tabled, which means they could refer to any part of the Bill.
  • The next stage is a “running list” where you can see all the amendments related to each clause of the Bill.
  • At some point before the relevant parliamentary debate, the amendments are grouped together to form what is called a “marshalled list”. 
  • However, since amendments may be tabled later and later, there could also be a series of “supplementary lists” to the marshalled list, and then an updated marshalled list will be compiled.

Amendments are set out in the form of “Page 20, line 25, at end insert…”   or “Page 21, line 1, leave out subsection (9)”

To see what this means, you need the latest pdf version of the Bill so you can find the right line on the right page. In the case of the Children and Social Work Bill, this is the Bill as amended by the Lords’ Committee, rather than the Bill as introduced.

asamended

These are the Government’s amendments as of November 8th 2016. Additions are shown in blue, deletions in red. 

Children’s social care: different ways of working
29 Power to test different ways of working
(1)The purpose of this section is to enable a local authority in England to test
different ways of working with a view to achieving better outcomes under
children’s social care legislation or achieving the same outcomes more
20efficiently.
(2)The Secretary of State may by regulations, for that purpose—
(a)exempt a local authority in England from a requirement imposed by
children’s social care legislation;
(b)modify the way in which a requirement imposed by children’s social
care legislation applies in relation to a local authority in England [page 20 line 25]

Lord Nash amendment Page 20, line 25, at end insert—

“( ) Regulations under this section may not be used so as to remove any
prohibition on a local authority in England arranging for functions to be
carried out by a body whose activities are carried on for profit.”
(3)The Secretary of State may make regulations under this section relating to a
local authority in England only if asked to do so by that authority.
(4)Regulations under this section may be made in relation to one or more local
authorities in England.
(5)Regulations under this section may include consequential modifications of
children’s social care legislation.

(6)Regulations under this section are subject to the negative resolution procedure
if they only—
(a)relate to requirements imposed by subordinate legislation, or
(b)revoke earlier regulations under this section.
(7)Any other regulations under this section are subject to the affirmative
resolution procedure.

Lord Nash amendment  Page 20, line 32, leave out subsections (6) and (7)

(8)Subsection (3) does not apply to regulations under this section that only revoke
earlier regulations under this section.

(9)If regulations under this section are subject to the affirmative resolution
procedure and would, but for this subsection, be treated for the purposes of the
standing orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, they are
to proceed in that House as if they were not a hybrid instrument.

Lord Nash amendment  Page 21, line 1, leave out subsection (9)

30 Duration
(1) Regulations under section 29 must specify a period at the end of which they
lapse.
(2) The period must not be longer than 3 years beginning with the day on which
the regulations come into force.
(3) But the Secretary of State may by further regulations under section 29 amend
the specified period to extend it by up to 3 years.
(4) The specified period may be extended on one occasion only.
(5) Before extending the specified period the Secretary of State must lay a report
before Parliament about the extent to which the regulations have achieved the
purpose mentioned in section 29(1).
(6) The Secretary of State may by regulations make transitional provision in
connection with the lapsing of regulations under section 29.

Lord Nash amendment  After Clause 30 Insert the following new Clause—

“Parliamentary procedure
(1) Regulations under section 29 are subject to the negative resolution procedure if
they only—
(a) relate to requirements imposed by subordinate legislation that was not
subject to affirmative resolution procedure, or
(b) revoke earlier regulations under that section.
(2) Any other regulations under section 29 are subject to the affirmative resolution
procedure.
(3) At the same time as laying a draft of a statutory instrument containing
regulations under section 29 before Parliament, the Secretary of State must lay
before Parliament a report—
(a) explaining how the regulations are expected to achieve the purpose
mentioned in subsection (1) of that section, and
(b) confirming that the regulations are not expected to have a detrimental
effect on the welfare of any child and explaining any measures that
have been put in place to ensure that is the case.
(4) If regulations under section 29 are subject to the affirmative resolution
procedure and would, but for this subsection, be treated for the purposes of
the standing orders of either House of Parliament as a hybrid instrument, they
are to proceed in that House as if they were not a hybrid instrument.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) subordinate legislation “was not subject
to affirmative resolution procedure” if it was not subject to any requirement for
a draft to be laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of
Parliament.”
31 Consultation
(1) Before asking the Secretary of State to make regulations under section 29 a local
authority in England must consult such of the other safeguarding partners and
relevant agencies in relation to its area as it considers appropriate.

(2) Before making regulations under section 29 the Secretary of State must
consult—
(a) the Children’s Commissioner,
(b) Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and
Skills, and
(c) any other person that the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
(3) But no consultation is required where the regulations under section 29 only
revoke earlier regulations under that section.

Lord Nash amendment  Page 21, line 22, leave out subsections (2) and (3) and insert—

“(2) Where a local authority in England asks the Secretary of State to make
regulations under section 29 the Secretary of State must invite an expert panel
to give advice about—
(a) the likely impact of the regulations on children, and
(b) the adequacy of any measures that will be in place to monitor their
impact on children.
(3) The expert panel is to consist of—
(a) the Children’s Commissioner,
(b) Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and
Skills, and
(c) one or more other persons appointed by the Secretary of State to
consider the request.
(3A) The Secretary of State may appoint a person under subsection (3)(c)to consider
a request only if the Secretary of State thinks that the person has expertise
relevant to the subject matter of the request.
(3B) Having invited the expert panel to advise, the Secretary of State must wait at
least 6 weeks before making regulations under section 29 in response to the
application.
(3C) Before making regulations under section 29 in response to the application, the
Secretary of State must also publish any written advice given during that 6
week period by the expert panel.”

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend this section for the purposes
of adding to those who must be consulted by a local authority in England or
the Secretary of State.
(5) Regulations under subsection (4) are subject to the negative resolution
procedure.

Lord Nash amendment  Page 21, line 31, leave out “or the Secretary of State”

33 Interpretation of sections 29 to 32
In sections 29 to 32— [*}
“children’s social care legislation” means—
(a) any legislation specified in Schedule 1 to the Local Authority
Social Services Act 1970 so far as relating to those under the age
of 18;

Lord Nash amendment Page 22, line 22, at end [*} insert—

““child” means a person under the age of 18 (and “children” means
people under the age of 18);”

See the Local Government Association comments here

RELATED POST  https://edyourself.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/powers-to-test-different-ways-of-working-childrens-social-care/ 

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2 thoughts on “Government amendments to opt out clause for social work October 2016

  1. Pingback: Powers to test different ways of working children’s social care | edyourself

  2. Pingback: Government amendments to opt out clause for social work October 2016 — edyourself | Rambling Violets

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