The Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill is a short, 2 clause bill that gives the Home Office the necessary Parliamentary financial authority to make payments under the compensation scheme.
The Windrush Compensation Scheme was launched in April last year to provide payments to eligible individuals who did not have the right documentation to demonstrate their status in the UK and suffered adverse effects on their life as a result.
It was designed following an extensive public consultation and with input from the independent adviser to the scheme, Martin Forde QC.
Compensation payments have already been made, less than a year after the scheme was first launched.
A ministerial direction was issued in July 2019 which provides the financial authority for compensation payments to be made ahead of this legislation coming into force.
The Compensation Scheme is open to almost anyone from a Commonwealth country who arrived and settled in the UK before 1973 and suffered losses due to difficulties in evidencing their lawful status. Certain children and grandchildren of those arriving before 1973 and some close family members may also be eligible to apply.
It is also open to anyone from any nationality who has the right to live or work in the UK without any restrictions or is now a British citizen, and arrived to live in the UK before the end of 1988.
To reach those who have been impacted by Windrush, the Home Office is holding and attending a series of public events around the country.
There have been over 30 events since April 2019. Members of the Commonwealth Citizens’ Taskforce and the Windrush Compensation Scheme are on hand at these events to explain how to make a claim and what help and support is available.
The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on Wednesday 08 January 2020.