Home Office launches Windrush Compensation Scheme

Home Office launches Windrush Compensation Scheme

A year on from the exposure of the Windrush Scandal and resulting launch of the Windrush scheme, a new compensation programme has been introduced to compensate those affected.


The Windrush Scandal brought to light the mistreatment of many migrants who had been living lawfully in the UK for a long time but did not have the necessary documentation to prove their legal status. These problems primarily affected those who had chosen to take advantage of the free movement between the Commonwealth at that time and had moved to the UK from such countries for work, often bringing their families. As new legislation was introduced, many who had lived in the UK for years and had never required proof previously, struggled to obtain the necessary evidence of their legal right to be here and were thus treated as illegal immigrants. Recognising that mistakes had been made, the Home Office last year announced the launch of the Windrush Scheme to enable people from the Commonwealth countries and other nationalities who were living lawfully in the UK to apply for the necessary documentation for free.


Now, a year on, the Home Office have introduced a programme to compensate those affected by the Windrush situation.  Launched on 3rd April 2019, the scheme is open to claims from anyone from the Commonwealth who arrived to live in the UK before 1st January 1973 or additionally those with a right of abode or settled status or who have since acquired British citizenship and arrived before 31st December 1988, regardless of their nationality at the time they arrived in the UK. In some instances, family members of those affected can also apply.


Successful claims should lead to an apology and some financial compensation, depending on the claim. This could include losses due to loss of employment or inability to take up a job offer, compensation for detention or removal, or inability to access health provision or education. Compensation may also be given for a negative impact on normal daily life, or for situations that led to homelessness or voluntary return to someone’s country of origin.


Claims made under the scheme will be considered until 2nd April 2021, with a 6-month extension in exceptional circumstances. Details of how to claim and guidance for applicants are on the GOV.UK website. The Home Office are also running a series of engagement events across the country to raise awareness of the scheme. You can find a list of locations and dates by following the above link.

Please contact us if you need any assistance with making a claim under the Windrush Scheme or the new Compensation Scheme. 

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