Irwin Mitchell Petitions Parliament Against Changes to the Law on Industrial Disease

Employer's Liability Insurance Law Change

16.07.2008

16/07/2008

Members of Irwin Mitchell's Industrial Illness Teams have condemned the Government's decision to change the law that currently requires companies to keep employer's liability insurance records for 40 years.

The current regulations attempt to ensure that details of a company's insurers can be traced, enabling those suffering from slow-developing diseases to claim compensation from their employers.

Roger Maddocks, Personal Injury Partner based in Newcastle, commented:

"This is an outrageous decision because it often takes many years for so-called long tail diseases, such as industrial deafness or malignant mesothelioma to develop. If this law is passed it will become more difficult for sufferers to claim from their former employers, especially in situations where the company no longer exists, has ceased trading or has no assets.

"The Government is trying to reduce the administration burden for companies but the saving would be to the detriment of innocent workers who have been made ill as a result of their employer's negligence."

In the overwhelming majority of cases, companies are liable to pay compensation but even today, there are many cases where people are unable to obtain compensation because it is not possible to trace an insurer due to inadequate record-keeping by employers prior to the regulations being introduced.

Two Early Day Motions have been tabled in Parliament in opposition to the law and a decision is due to be reached before Parliamentary recess for the summer, on July 22nd.