Thursday, 14 April 2011

Will the end of the Workers Registration Scheme help those already rough sleeping with 'No Recourse to Public Funds' ?

As of 1st  May 2011, the worker's registration scheme will no longer exist. This currently effects A8 Nationals living and working in Britain (A8 countries are Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungry, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia). It means that as of this date, A8 nationals will have the same rights as other EEA (European Economic Area) Nationals in this country. See Directgov for EEA and A8 info

Currently A8 nationals cannot access Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) until they have worked for 12 months in accordance with the Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) and have to pay £90.00 to register on this scheme. They can not access benefits unless under the WRS and have completed 12 months of employment. For those that have not completed 12 months of employment required due to illness or unemployment, they are not entitled to benefits until they can complete the allocated time in employment.

The biggest changes to the cancelling of WRS is that A8 Nationals can now register for income based JSA (as long as they meet the same criteria as  British Citizens accessing benefits). They should also be entitled to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefits.

While researching this issue I have been unable to understand how this effects those A8 Nationals already in this country. Much of the documents I have read comes from the perspective of someone newly entering the country.

Will this impact on those already rough sleeping? Will this solve many of our issues regarding those sleeping out who have No Recourse to Public Funds? How does it work in practice?