Employment Law BasicsA long-awaited white paper on the future of social care, published along with a draft social care Bill, is a rare opportunity to unify and modernise existing legislation and must not be wasted.

Commenting on the launch of the draft Bill, Law Society President Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said: “Simplifying and unifying a mass of existing statute is an arduous and complex exercise. The aim must be to improve the experience of those requiring care”.

The overhaul of the legislative framework is set against a background of reduced spending on social care and a need for clarity on how the system will be funded in future.

The Law Society responded to the Law Commission’s initial proposals in its extensive consultation on Adult Social Care in July 2010.

Susan Thompson, Chair of the Law Society Mental Health & Disability Committee, said: “We welcome this significant step to simplify what is currently complex and largely inaccessible legislation to all but specialists. Reform will benefit those in need of care and those who support them in navigating the system. Hopefully we will soon see clarity on how the new framework will be funded and implemented”.

Lucy Scott Moncrieff commented: “This is a rare opportunity to create a new legal framework based upon advanced principles of social care including person-centred planning, personalised budgets and portability of care packages. The Law Society will carefully consider the detail of the draft Bill and work with Government to ensure that that the new law protects and supports those needing care.”