Sorry, not sorry: the Windrush compensation scheme

Cover image for Sorry, not sorry: the Windrush compensation scheme

Last week the Home Office announced the establishment of its compensation scheme for those affected by the Windrush scandal (the Scheme).

There are a number of issues in the design of the Scheme which give rise to concerns about whether or not the Home Office has learned the lessons of this fiasco, and about the overall fairness of the framework it has designed. The following non-exhaustive list varies from the exasperating to the downright unacceptable:

  1. Only some application fees will be reimbursed. Despite the Home Office telling individuals who were already legally in the UK, victims will not be given back the fees they paid when applying for the right to stay in the UK unless the application was of a certain type.
  2. Limited recovery of legal fees. This means that money spent on lawyers down the years will generally not be claimable.
  3. Victim must show an effort to “resolve lawful status”. As part of their claims for compensation, victims must provide evidence that they took “reasonable steps to resolve their lawful status” and “mitigate the losses” that they experienced.
  4. The amount of evidence required. Many of the evidential demands in the scheme appear to echo the previous requirements that saw claimants struggle to get documents in the first place.
  5. Levels of compensation, and the requirements as to what evidence needs to be provided, are likely to raise significant queries about fairness for claimants.
  6. Sorry, not sorry. The whole point about the Windrush scandal was that it was supposed to be a watershed moment, where the Home Office realised that the hostile environment monster it had created had real-world and devastating impacts on the communities it is supposed to serve. This does not appear to have happened.

Read the full article at Free Movement.

Main image credit: Photo by S. Hermann & F. Richter at Pixabay