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The Commons disagreed to the above amendment but propose the following amendment in lieu--
6A

Page 3, line 33, leave out from 'under' to end of line 34 and insert--


'(i) Part II of the 1971 Act (appeals: general); or
(ii) section 8 of the 1993 Act (appeals to special adjudicator on Convention grounds),
as respects matters arising before his removal from the United Kingdom'.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 6 to which the Commons have disagreed, and do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 6A in lieu thereof.

When a third country certificate is issued an applicant will, of course, have an appeal under Clause 3 of the Bill against the Secretary of State's third country certificate. In certain limited cases he might also seek to appeal on non-asylum grounds and we need to ensure that third country removals should not be delayed by unrelated appeals. Previously, the Bill provided that in third country cases an applicant could not bring an asylum appeal under Section 8 of the 1993 Act unless or until the third country certificate had been set aside by a special adjudicator.

The Government brought forward, and this House adopted, amendments which adjusted the Bill slightly to provide that an applicant could not bring either an asylum appeal under Section 8 of the 1993 Act or a non-asylum appeal under the 1971 Act unless or until the third country certificate had been set aside by a special adjudicator. However, it became apparent that Amendment No. 6 could be construed as preventing a person who has been removed under a third country certificate ever exercising an immigration right of appeal in the United Kingdom again. For instance, an asylum applicant who was removed to a third country might some years later obtain an entry clearance to come to the United Kingdom as a student. If the student was refused entry on arrival he would not be entitled to an appeal against that decision because the third country certificate had never been overturned.

It is arguable that Amendment No. 6 could not be construed as having such an extreme result, but we wish to make absolutely sure that the provision cannot be misinterpreted. We are, of course, seeking only to prevent applicants lodging non-asylum appeals against decisions made prior to removal which would have the effect of delaying or preventing removal. Therefore, the Government brought forward Amendment No. 6A in another place to make it clear that we are not removing immigration appeal rights for ever from applicants who are removed to a third country.

22 Jul 1996 : Column 1178

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 6 to which the Commons have disagreed, and do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 6A in lieu thereof.--(Baroness Blatch.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

3.15 p.m.

LORDS AMENDMENT

9

Clause 8, page 6, line 2, leave out ("subsection (3)") and insert ("subsections (2A) and (3)")


The Commons disagreed to this amendment for the following reason--
9A

Because it does not address such problems as may be faced by domestic workers from overseas.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 9 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 9A.

The effect of Amendment No. 9, which together with Amendment No. 11 was successfully moved by the noble Lord, Lord Hylton, would have been to exclude from the provisions of Clause 8 those employers who employed an overseas domestic worker in respect of whom a police officer, doctor or solicitor had certified that he or she had suffered substantial physical abuse or serious economic exploitation arising from what was described as "previous bonded employment". In practice, that would have meant that the second and any subsequent employer of a domestic worker who fell into that category could not commit the offence of employing someone not entitled to work here, yet the domestic workers themselves would still not be entitled to take the employment in question and they would either be working in breach of their immigration conditions or they would be overstayers.

The noble Lord, Lord Hylton, is a vigorous and respected campaigner on behalf of those domestic workers who are abused by their employers. I wish to put on record my admiration for the way in which he has doughtily supported the cause of those people, many of them very young.

However, the amendments would have done little to minimise the risk of abuse occurring in the first place, whether by the first or any subsequent employer. The amendments and the debates which were stimulated in your Lordships' House and in another place have served to highlight the plight of those who are abused. But the Government's view is that it is quite properly a matter to be dealt with by our criminal and employment laws, under which domestic workers, in common with all other employees, have full protection while they are in this country.

The right way to minimise the risk of abuse occurring in the first place is to sift out those cases where the arrangements fall short of the criteria which have been established for entry clearance in this capacity before they even come here. The Government have said, and I repeat it, that we will gladly consider any suggestions for further refinements to these pre-entry arrangements which might help to weed out unsatisfactory cases.

22 Jul 1996 : Column 1179

The Commons disagreed to these amendments because they did not address such problems as may be faced by domestic workers from overseas. I hope that in view of what I have said the House will take a similar view.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 9 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 9A.--(Baroness Blatch.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

LORDS AMENDMENT

11

Clause 8, page 6, line 12, at end insert--


("(2A) Nothing in this section applies to an employee who was employed as a domestic worker and in respect of whom a police officer, doctor or solicitor has certified that he has previously suffered substantial physical abuse or deprivation, or serious economic exploitation, arising from previous bonded employment.").
The Commons disagreed to this amendment for the following reason--
11A

Because it does not address such problems as may be faced by domestic workers from overseas.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 11 to which the Commons have disagreed for the reason numbered llA.

Moved, That the House do not insist on their Amendment No. 11 to which the Commons have disagreed for the reason numbered 11A.--(Baroness Blatch.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

LORDS AMENDMENT

24

After Clause 10, insert the following new clause--

Saving for social security regulations

(".--(1) Notwithstanding any enactment or rule of law, regulations may exclude from entitlement to any of the following benefits, namely--
(a) income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit under the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;
(b) income support and housing benefit under the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992; and
(c) jobseeker's allowance under the Jobseekers Act 1995 or the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995,
any person who has made a claim for asylum other than on his arrival in the United Kingdom or within three working days of that arrival.
(2) Regulations may provide that, where such a person as is mentioned in subsection (1) above is subsequently recorded by the Secretary of State as a refugee within the meaning of the Convention--
(a) that person may, within a prescribed period, claim the whole or any prescribed proportion of any income support, housing benefit or council tax benefit to which he would have been entitled had he been recorded as a refugee immediately after he made the claim for asylum; and
(b) where he makes such a claim as is mentioned in paragraph (a) above in respect of housing benefit or council tax benefit having resided in the areas of two or more local authorities in Great Britain,

22 Jul 1996 : Column 1180

the claim shall be investigated and determined, and any benefit awarded shall be paid or allowed, by such one of those authorities as may be prescribed.
(3) Regulations making such provision as is mentioned in subsection (2)(b) above may require the other authorities there mentioned to supply the prescribed authority with such information as it may reasonably require in connection with the exercise of its functions under the regulations.
(4) Schedule (Modifications of social security regulations) to this Act--
(a) Part I of which modifies the Social Security (Persons from Abroad) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 1996; and
(b) Part II of which modifies the Social Security (Persons from Abroad) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996,
shall have effect.
(5) The Jobseeker's Allowance (Amendment) Regulations 1996 shall have effect as if they had been made on the day on which this Act is passed.
(6) In this section--
"claim for asylum" and "the Convention" have the same meanings as in the 1993 Act;
"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations;
"regulations"--
(a) in relation to income support, housing benefit or council tax benefit under the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, means regulations under that Act or the Social Security Administration Act 1992;
(b) in relation to income support or housing benefit under the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992, means regulations under that Act or the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992;
(c) in relation to jobseeker's allowance under the Jobseekers Act 1995, means regulations under that Act or the Social Security Administration Act 1992;
(d) in relation to jobseeker's allowance under the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, means regulations under that Order or the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992.").
The Commons agreed to this amendment with the following amendment--
24A

Line 3, after 'exclude' insert 'any person who has made a claim for asylum'.


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