Workplace Report April 2021

Health & safety news

Union win on personal injury compensation

The Usdaw shopworkers’ union has welcomed new regulations, which confirm the small claims limit for employers’ liability and public liability claims will remain at £1,000, as a victory for the Justice for injured workers campaign.

The Civil Liability Act 2018 reformed “whiplash” compensation claims and paved the way for new regulations to double the small claims limit from £1,000 to £2,000 for work-related personal injury claims. A broad coalition including unions, the Law Society, Association of British Insurers, British Safety Council and Thompsons Solicitors, called on the government to step back from pushing more workplace injury cases through the small claims court process.

Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis welcomed the government’s having listened to the campaign, saying: “Employees injured at work need legal representation to help ensure that those responsible are held to account and that health and safety standards in the workplace are maintained.”

The original proposals would have moved a significant number of these cases into the small claims court, where legal costs cannot be recovered, forcing injured employees to represent themselves in a complex legal process without adequate advice and support, he added.