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Windrush compensation scheme extended to ‘right wrongs’

A compensation scheme for members of the Windrush generation has been extended for two years to “right the wrongs” they have faced. 

The Home Office announced it was making the system more “flexible” for those who have suffered losses.

It was rolled out to help those who came legally to work in Britain from the Caribbean after the Second World War until around 1970, but were never given official immigration status and then faced potential deportation or refused health care.

Anyone who was adversely affected by the government’s mistakes is now able to apply for compensation until 2 April 2023.

The HMT Empire Windrush brought 492 workers to the UK from the Caribbean in 1948.
The HMT Empire Windrush brought 492 workers to the UK from the Caribbean in 1948

The Home Office says that date is being “kept under review”, meaning it could be extended again.

Victims will no longer be expected to show they took immediate steps to resolve their immigration status.

For example, if someone lost their job as a result of not being able to evidence their lawful status and they tried to contact the government or sought advice at any time to resolve this, then this will be taken into account.

The Home Office says this chance may help some people qualify for a higher award.

18 Windrush members wrongfully removed or detained
Home Secretary Priti Patel blamed “successive governments” for the Windrush scandal

Home Secretary Priti Patel blamed “successive governments” for the scandal that erupted in March 2018.

“We have listened to feedback from community leaders and those affected, to hear how the government can begin to do justice to those who have contributed so much to our country,” she said.

“The Windrush Compensation Scheme has been developed in conjunction with those affected and I hope the scheme will ease the burden from the unacceptable mistreatment experienced by some members of the Windrush generation.”

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