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MPs urged to raise Usdaw's Justice for Injured Workers Campaign during the second reading of the Civil Liability Bill

Date: 03 September 2018 Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis is urging MPs to voice their concerns about Government proposals that will restrict injured workers’ access to justice, by forcing more cases through the small claims court in England and Wales.
Measures linked to the Civil Liability Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Commons tomorrow, will double the threshold for cases taken in the small claims court to £2,000. Usdaw is backing the cross-party Justice Select Committee recommendation of a £1,500 limit, which reflects inflation since the limit was last set in 1999.

Usdaw is deeply concerned that the Government is trivialising serious injuries incurred at work where the employer is at fault, by forcing victims into the small claims court. Usdaw is asking MPs if these injuries would be a small issue if an accident resulted in a worker suffering:
  • A black eye, broken nose and split lip.
  • Back pain so bad they cannot pick up their own child.
  • Permanent facial scarring.
  • An ankle injury that stops them from driving for months.
  • Anxiety attacks when they go back to work after being assaulted by a shoplifter.
Paddy Lillis - Usdaw General Secretary says: “We are asking MPs to support our campaign to stop the Government forcing more injured workers into the small claims court, where the costs of legal representation cannot be recovered from negligent employers.

“We want the Government to accept the reasonable and fair compromise of raising the threshold to £1,500. Usdaw fears that an increase to £2,000 will not only restrict access to justice, but also have a damaging effect on workplace health and safety.”

Constituents can help the campaign by asking their MP to oppose the Government’s plans. It’s quick and easy to do with Usdaw’s online e-mail your MP facility at: www.usdaw.org.uk/Justice4InjuredWorkers

Notes for editors:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with around 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

House of Commons Justice Committee - Small claims limit for personal injury - Seventh Report of Session 2017–19: “81. We are deeply unimpressed by the Ministry of Justice’s inability to quantify the potential impact of raising to £2,000 the small claims limit for employer liability and public liability claims. Given the potential complexity of these claims for self-represented claimants and evidence of the role of litigation in maintaining safe and healthy workplaces, we recommend that they continue to be subject to the lowest small claims threshold—which we have recommended should be set at around £1,500 to take account of inflation since 1999.”

For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers