A tender for a contract to provide assistance to people claiming compensation through the Windrush Compensation Scheme has been launched today (Monday 20 April).
The successful bidder will provide hands-on support to those applying for compensation. This will include helping them to complete their application forms with over-the-phone and face-to-face appointments.
The scheme, designed with independent oversight, is intended to be as straightforward as possible with dedicated caseworkers assessing claims as quickly as they can. The first payment was made within just 4 months of the scheme opening.
The Home Office also funded a support contract currently run by Citizens Advice which has been operating since April 2019.
The next phase of this programme is now open for bids. The successful bidder will have to show that they can provide this service throughout the UK, offer a holistic service to all claimants and spot particular vulnerabilities of those they are assisting to make sure that they receive help in all aspects of their life.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
The ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the race and history of the Windrush generation was at the heart of the Windrush lessons learned Review.
Although no amount of money will ever be able to repay people for the hurt and suffering they have endured, I want to ensure that those who have suffered are compensated for their losses, and that is why I am ensuring that support is continuing to be available for those who need it to apply.
The Home Office will continue to do everything possible to listen to and support those were affected by this scandal and the Windrush Compensation Scheme is fundamental to that.
The tender will be open for 10 weeks rather than 6, to give organisations which have been affected by coronavirus additional time to bid for the contract.
The tender will be open from 22 April 2020 and close on 1 July and interested organisations can find out how to access the relevant documents on the GOV.UK Contracts Finder. However, we will keep the situation under review and will extend the deadline if necessary.
The Windrush Compensation Scheme was launched in April 2019 to ensure that affected members of the Windrush generation receive payments for the impact on their lives.
This includes payment for loss of employment, benefits and other forms of hardship. The first payments were made within four months of the scheme opening. For the latest information on the scheme, please see the Windrush Compensation Scheme factsheet.
The Wendy Williams Lessons Learned review was published in March 2020. The Home Secretary made clear in her statement to the House of Commons on the day of publication that the department will carefully consider the detail of the report and its recommendations to develop a comprehensive plan for changing the ways of working of the Home Office.
As announced by the Home Secretary in March, the Home Office will shortly launch a separate £500k fund for grassroots organisations to promote the Windrush Schemes and provide advice services. We will work with stakeholders to co-design the fund.