Actions for Home Office and UKHTC if the Reasonable Grounds decision is positive
Last updated 14/07/2021
Action 1: provide the potential victim with support if they want it for a minimum of 45 days during a recovery and reflection period
If the Competent Authority makes a positive reasonable grounds decision, the individual must be given support if they want it during a 45 day recovery and reflection period. This temporary period provides the conditions for a full evaluation to conclusively decide if the person was a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery at the date of the reasonable grounds decision. This is a not an immigration decision.
The recovery and reflection period is a legal concept that triggers certain rights and measures under the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and in no circumstances should the Competent Authority deny an identified victim these rights where the victim indicates they want them. This recovery and reflection period is being extended to cover positive Reasonable Grounds decisions in all modern slavery cases in England and Wales.
Action 2: record the decision
Update CID with ‘PVOT outcome accepted’. (Home Office action only).
The Competent Authority should draft a minute explaining the reasons for the positive reasonable grounds decision and keep it on file.
They should not send the minute of reasons to the victim.
Complete the decision letter.
The Home Office and UKHTC use the same decision letters:
- UKBA NRM 03 (ICD.4048 on CID Doc Gen)
Action 3: notify the victim of the decision
Issue the decision letter (NRM03) to the adult victim concerned through their appointed representative, where applicable (or Local Authority in the case of a child victim).
The Competent Authority must not serve a decision letter or other human trafficking or modern slavery papers on a child under any circumstances. All human trafficking or modern slavery papers must be served on the child’s appointed representative or the Local Authority.
Action 4: notify agencies of the decision
The Competent Authority must notify the following of their decision using UKBA NRM 05 (ICD.4050 on CID Doc Gen):
- the first responder (all cases)
- the support provider (all supported adult cases and family cases) and the Salvation Army if supported in England and Wales), TARA or Migrant Help if the adult is being supported in Scotland or Migrant Help or Women’s Aid if the adult is being supported in Northern Ireland)
- the Local Authority (in the case of children where the relevant NRM 03 letter is used instead)
If the Home Office is the Competent Authority they should also notify the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) of their decision in all cases using UKBA NRM 09 (ICD.4460 on CID Doc Gen) (Home Office action only).
Action 5: notify agencies of the decision where there are criminal proceedings
If the potential victim is the subject of criminal proceedings several agencies need to be notified as soon as the reasonable grounds decision is made.
The Competent Authority must ensure that the police (National Human Trafficking Unit in Scotland) are notified of the positive reasonable grounds decision as soon as they make it.
The Competent Authority must use notification letter UKBA NRM 05 (ICD.4050 on CID Doc Gen) for the police or contact them by email or telephone as appropriate.
Generally the Competent Authority should ask the police to notify prosecutors (the Crown Prosecution Service (or the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscals Service in Scotland or Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland) of the positive reasonable grounds decision as soon as they make it.
Home Office Competent Authority next steps for live immigration cases following a positive Reasonable Grounds decision
If the Home Office is the Competent Authority they will need to consider additional next steps in live immigration cases once a reasonable grounds decision has been taken.
This section does not apply to UKHTC. Pilot panel decisions with live immigration issues will need to be referred to the Home Office to take appropriate immigration steps.
Action 6: consider whether to grant temporary admission/temporary release to the victim
The Home Office will consider whether they need to grant temporary admission (TA) or temporary release (TR) to a person who will have a 45 day recovery and reflection period.
A grant of TA or TR is not a grant of leave to enter or remain in the UK.
If the person does not have a valid form of leave, the Home Office will grant a 45 day period of TA or TR to allow for the recovery and reflection period.
Some people within the NRM process will not require a grant of TA or TR, for example where they already have a grant of leave valid for 45 days or more. See Granting temporary admission (TA) or temporary release (TR) extensions.
Where a person is serving a custodial sentence they cannot be released from that sentence as a result of the NRM process.
The Home Office does not grant TA or TR in deportation cases.
For information on detained cases see Consider whether a potential victim can be released from detention.
The Home Office must take into account any TA or TR that may already have been granted and advise the local immigration office of the status of the case and instruct them to amend the status as appropriate.
The TA or TR will not be granted to someone who already has valid leave to remain in the UK for 45 days or more, but in such cases the Home Office must still serve the positive reasonable grounds decision and acknowledge that the individual has been granted 45 days for recovery and reflection.
With the decision letter, the Home Office must also issue a revised IS96 (or IS248 if the application was made in-time, in the UK) granting TA or TR for 45 calendar days from the date of the letter. This must cover:
- where the person will need to report to, for example either the:
- local enforcement office
- reporting centre in the area where they are accommodated
- how often they will need to report and when
IS96 and IS 248 can be downloaded from CID Doc Gen.
Guidance on the discretion to extend the recovery and reflection period beyond 45 days where circumstances warrant is at Requests to extend the 45 day recovery and reflection period.
Guidance on curtailing the recovery and reflection period and immigration status if it is found that victim status is being claimed improperly is at the section on improper claims, below
Action 7: consider whether a potential victim can be released from detention
If the potential victim of trafficking or modern slavery is in immigration detention they will normally need to be released on TA or TR by the Home Office unless in the particular circumstances, their detention can be justified on grounds of public order.
The decision letter advises the person that they have been granted 45 days for recovery and reflection on TA or TR to remain in the UK whilst a conclusive grounds decision is made on their case. This does not grant any leave to enter or remain.
Therefore a detained person is usually released from immigration detention if they receive a positive reasonable grounds decision and where they are released, the Competent Authority which dealt with persons case whilst detained must pass the case on to a non-detained Competent Authority (UKVI) at this point for the conclusive grounds decision to be made unless there are exceptional reasons why this is not possible.
Action 8: liaise with asylum decision makers to ensure any negative asylum decision is not made until after the Conclusive Grounds decision has been taken
If the reasonable grounds decision is positive, the Home Office should not take any negative asylum decision until the conclusive grounds decision is made, as it may have a bearing on the asylum claim.