Government plans to change workplace law are a license for rogue bosses to let safety standards fall, personal injury experts have warned.
Not-for-profit group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) is lobbying against a government amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which would end a right to compensation for an injury following a criminal breach of safety law by an employer without proof of negligence.
The call came on 14 January, ahead of a debate on the Bill in the House of Lords. ‘The government is trying to overturn 100 years of legal procedure by making the injured worker have to provide all the evidence to prove that the employer who’s injured him was at fault,’ said APIL president Karl Tonks. ‘This is grossly unfair as it tilts the playing field in favour of negligent bosses’.
Commenting on the government push to remove this ‘strict liability’ route to a compensation claim, he added: ‘Employers always have the upper hand as they are the ones who control the workplace and the work equipment, and who hold all the information about what systems they have in place. The injured person, who has none of this knowledge at his fingertips will have to gather the evidence himself to prove his case and the odds will be completely stacked against him, where now the law is fair and looks after the vulnerable individual.’
He estimated the proposals would affect 70,000 cases in Great Britain.