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The government is proposing in a last minute addition to the bill to stop workers relying upon their employers’ failure to adhere to the statutory duties imposed upon them by Parliament itself when making a claim. Workers have been able to rely upon breaches of statutory duty in order to sue for compensation for injuries sustained at work since 1898.
Currently for example if a piece of equipment that you use at work fails and you are injured as a result, then your employer is liable for that injury and has to compensate you. The compensation is in fact paid mostly by the employers’ insurers, as employers have to take out insurance as a matter of law. The government wants to change the law, so that instead of the employer shouldering the burden, the employee will have to shoulder the burden instead. The employer can insure against the possibility that one of his employees might be injured by a fault in equipment. An employee cannot insure against the failure of his employers’ equipment. Instead of automatically being liable to pay compensation, the employee will have to prove that the employer was negligent and that he failed to do everything reasonably possible to avoid the accident.
Proving negligence is difficult, time consuming and expensive. The employer has access to and control over its premises and the maintenance and repair and examination of the equipment. The employee has no rights to access without a court order, should the employer decline to allow access upon request. It will take longer and cause more heartache and expense to get that information, in order to evaluate whether there is a decent case for bringing a claim in negligence.
The proposed change won’t create one new job or save a single existing one. It won’t save the employer any money – he will still be required to by law to purchase insurance and to pay his insurance premium. It will simply be a windfall for insurers who will continue to take premiums for claims that they will never have to pay out on.
That’s not enterprising. That’s dishonest. That’s not reformatory – it’s just plain backward. So if you think that attacking injured workers stinks, do something about it. Write to your MP. Speak to your trade union representative. Sign the online petition on the UK government's ePetition website.
And if you have had an accident at work in the last 3 years and haven’t made a claim, you should make that claim – whilst you still can! Call Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors. We can see you in our City Centre office in Liverpool, in our office in Kirkby, or at your home if you can’t get out and about. We can deal with your claim by post and by telephone and by e-mail if you prefer.
Our personal injury team is a highly experienced team composed entirely of qualified solicitors with over 125 years of combined experience of bringing personal injury claims and who can help you get the compensation that you deserve. We offer our clients no win, no fee arrangements so that the case will not cost you a penny to bring and you will retain every penny of the amount that you are awarded. And if you come to us before the end of March, we’ll give you an Apple i-pad 3™ or an Apple i-pad™ mini once liability is accepted by the other side and we’ve received a supportive medical report.