Usdaw has welcomed that the Government has published the regulations relating to the Civil Liability Act 2018, in which they confirm that the small claims limit for employer’s liability and public liability claims will not be increased and will remain at £1,000.
The Civil Liability Act 2018 reformed whiplash claims and the Government had also proposed changing the rules for employer liability personal injury cases, by doubling the threshold for the small claims court. This proposal was opposed by the House of Commons Justice Select Committee.
A broad coalition had joined with trade unions to call on the Government to step back from pushing more workplace injury cases through the small claims court process, which included: The Law Society, Association of British Insurers, British Safety Council and Thompsons Solicitors.
Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary says:
“We welcome the Government listening to our ‘Justice for Injured Workers’ campaign and to the views of the broad coalition that had come together to urge them to step back from their proposed changes.
“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.
“The Government had already rightly exempted from the reforms vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, horse riders, motorcyclists and cyclists from the proposed increase as well as children and protected adults. The employment relationship and the evidential complexity of cases mean that injured employees are also vulnerable claimants. It is the right decision to also exempt workers from the reforms, so that they can continue to seek justice with proper representation.”
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK’s fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.