Commons Library Research Briefing – “Common law marriage” and cohabitation

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The number of couples choosing to live together (cohabit) without getting married or entering a civil partnership, in what is often called “a common law marriage”, increased by 137% between 1996 and 2020.

Although cohabitating couples do have legal protection in several areas, such as under the law relating to domestic abuse, cohabitation gives no general legal status to a couple, unlike marriage and civil partnership from which many legal rights and responsibilities flow. Many people are unaware this is the case.

This briefing provides information about the number of cohabiting couples, how the law applies to them, the Law Commission’s proposals for reform, and other calls for reform.

You can find the briefing here: “Common law marriage” and cohabitation

Commons Library Research Briefing – Coronavirus: International Travel FAQs for England

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The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper which provides answers to frequently asked questions about international travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus: International Travel FAQs for England

This paper is a compilation of frequently asked questions about international travel from and to England, and how it is affected by current restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The paper addresses the following questions:

  • What is the international travel ban?
  • What are the reasonable excuses for travel?
  • Who is exempt from the international travel ban and travel requirements?
  • What are the penalties for international travel offences?
  • I’m travelling to the UK, what do I need to do?
  • What COVID-19 testing is required after arrival in England?
  • What is the “test to release” scheme?
  • What is hotel quarantine for travel from “red list” countries?
  • Are there any exemptions from Hotel quarantine?
  • What if I cannot afford to pay for Hotel Quarantine?
  • When can I go on holiday?
  • I can’t fly because of lockdown, but my flight wasn’t cancelled, what are my options?

Telegraph guides: how to make customer services listen to your complaint

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Will Kirkman of The Telegraph newspaper has published a series of articles about how to get utility company customer services listen to your complaints.  You can find them on the Telegraph website here:

British Gas: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/british-gas-contact-complain-customer-service-how-make-complaint/

BT: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/bt-contact-customer-service-how-complain-make-complaint/

E.ON: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/eon-contact-complain-customer-service-how-make-complaint/

EDF Energy: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/edf-energy-contact-complain-customer-service-how-make-complaint/

NPower: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/npower-contact-complain-customer-service-how-make-complaint/

Plusnet: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/plusnet-contact-how-complain-customer-service-complaint/

SSE: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/sse-contact-complain-customer-services-how-make-complaint/

Scottish Power: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/scottish-power-contact-complain-customer-services-how-make-complaint/

Sky: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/sky-contact-how-complain-customer-service-team-cancel/

TalkTalk: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/talk-talk-contact-customer-service-how-make-complaint-cancel/

Virgin Media: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/virgin-media-contact-how-complain-customer-service-make-complaint/

Vodafone: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/vodafone-contact-how-make-complaint-customer-services-complain/

Virtual Events for Mental Health Awareness Week – 10th – 14th May

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Image shows a poster listing the various events taking place on Mental Health Awareness Week

Please join us for a series of fascinating events to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

We are also launching the WWG’s very own SharePoint site which includes information on:

  • Spending the IPSA wellbeing funds
  • Group supervision – what is it and how might it help staff?
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Courses run by the House on mental health
  • Templates and exercises for you and your team to use to promote wellbeing.

Please email mpsstaff-wwg@parliament.uk in order to receive the links to each meeting.

Monday 10th May
3pm – 4pm –
Ceri Finnegan, Mind
‘Coping in Tough Times’
________________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday 11th May
11am – 12pm
Hein Ten Cate, NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist on Trauma
‘Understanding trauma, types of trauma, supporting others and looking after oneself.’
________________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday 12th May
3pm – 4pm
MP’s Staff Wellness Working Group
‘Join us to see our new Sharepoint site’
________________________________________________________________________________

Thursday 13th May
3pm – 4pm
Dr Robbie Anderson, Managing Director, Chimp Paradox
‘Optimising the performance of the human mind’
________________________________________________________________________________

Friday 14th May
11am – 12pm
Rachel Edwards, Life and Career Coach
‘Who are you and where are you going?’

________________________________________________________________________________

Take care

Chloe, Steph, Estelle & Tom
Wellness Working Group

Available: Flat to Rent

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Ref: 2952

One bedroom Garden Flat to rent in Barton Street, opposite House of Lords, a short walk from Parliament.

Cost within IPSA guidelines. Please email Lord Flight – hflight@btinternet.com

Or telephone on 0207 222 7559 if interested.

Available end of May/beginning of June.

Hotlines list updated 22 April 2021

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The hotlines list has been updated today.

Please can you ensure that you use only the current list which can be found on the intranet here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/research-online-resources/research/constituency-casework/w4mp-hotlines.pdf

Please do not save or print the hotlines list, as this risks you using incorrect details and causing annoyance to the people you are contacting.

Follow the Speaker on Twitter

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Follow the new official @CommonsSpeaker Twitter account!

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, launched his new official Speaker Twitter  account on Wednesday 21 April 2021.

Follow @CommonsSpeaker to stay up to date with his work as Speaker of the UK House of Commons, both inside and beyond the Chamber.

Wellness Working Group Virtual meeting: Kooth, Mental Health Support for Children and Young People

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Wellness Working Group Online Event

Kooth.com, Mental Health Support for Children and Young People
Time: 11am – 12pm
Date: Friday 16 April 2021

Dr. Lynne Green, Consultant Psychologist and Chief Clinical Officer and Gareth Evans, Director of Accounts and Engagement for Kooth will cover what Kooth is for children and young people, how to talk to parents about Kooth, how to access their services and discuss some case studies on the work they do with children and young people.

1 in 5 children and young people suffer from mental health illness in any given year. Kooth.com is commissioned by the NHS and Local Authorities to provide anonymous and personalised mental health support for children and young people, providing end to end support whatever the need.

To join this meeting, please email mpsstaff-wwg@parliament.uk

As always, please feel free to share this event with your colleagues and encourage them to join the Group.