If you missed it yesterday the LAA have produced a document entitled “Controlled Work – Audit Trends”

It purports to summarise common areas of non-compliance at audit which result in costs reductions. Here is an example:

“Where an employed client is paid weekly providers should obtain 4 weekly wage slips to cover the entire computation period, in order to accurately assess the client’s financial eligibility, as specified at LAA Manual Volume 3 Part C section 2.1.5”.

What LAA Manual Volume 3 Part C section 2.1.5. actually says is:

(if the client is weekly paid it is best practice to obtain the latest 4 weekly pay slips i.e. to cover the full calculation period),

and 5.1.8 provides the calculation to convert weekly earnings to monthly:

To calculate calendar monthly income, multiply by 52 and divide by 12 if payment is weekly

At the very least the issue is ambiguous – “best practice” is not “should” and it is definitely not “must”. (And why put the above calculation on the actual Legal Help form if you have to have the absolute sum earned in the computation period to do the means assessment). Either say what you mean in Contract, unambiguously, or put it to Cost Appeal Committee to certify a PoP.

The document contains a number of similar interpretations of contract based on similar subtle misrepresentations of Contract and Guidance (see the partial quote from CLA 55). All these, of course, are being applied retrospectively.

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