Thursday 6 October 2022
The Applicant was the subject of a positive Reasonable Grounds decision.
Support is provided to PVOTs (potential victims of trafficking) under the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract (MSVCC), PVOTs – provided with fully catered accommodation are to be paid £35 per week in respect of their recovery needs. PVOTs with self-catered accommodation under the MSVCC were paid £65 per week irrespective of whether or not they were also asylum seekers.
JB, a PVOT was accommodated in fully catered accommodation but pursuant to s.95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 not the MSVCC. The SSHD considered that those in fully catered asylum support accommodation were to be treated in the same way as those in fully catered MSVCC accommodation: the sum of £65 was to be discounted to reflect the fact that most of their essential living needs were met as part of the accommodation package.
The HCJ found that, on a correct interpretation, for a person receiving support under s.96 IAA 1999, the relevant guidance provided that a PVOT was entitled to receive £65 per week less any weekly financial support due under s.95. It is said by SSHD that the effect of this is that a PVOT in fully catered asylum support accommodation is entitled to almost double the financial support provided to a PVOT in fully catered MSVCC accommodation.