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Usdaw welcomes the Association of British Insurers call for the small claims limit to remain at £1,000 for employers' and public liability claims

Date: 04 September 2019 Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has released the following statement in response to an article by James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The article can be viewed at: https://www.abi.org.uk/news/blog-articles/09/eyes-on-the-prize-to-secure-the-whiplash-portal/

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Usdaw and our fellow trade unions have long argued that injured workers should be exempt from the increase in the small claims limit. We have consistently argued that an injured worker faces particular difficulties in pursuing a claim for injuries sustained in the course of their employment which are at least as great as those faced by vulnerable road users, children and protected parties whom the government has already chosen to exempt from the proposed changes. Access to justice for employees injured through no fault of their own would be significantly affected and there would be a detrimental impact on workplace health and safety if the proposals were implemented. We therefore welcome the statement from the Association of British Insurers that employers’ liability claims and public liability claims should not be caught up by the increase in the small claims limit. We have always maintained that employers’ liability claims have never formed part of the real objective of this legislation and they, like vulnerable road users and litigants under a disability, should be specifically excluded from the proposed reforms

“Whilst we continue to have grave concerns regarding the reforms which relate to road traffic accidents, the Civil Liability Act has now received Royal Assent and the reforms they herald are likely to be implemented at some stage in 2020. In these circumstances it is important that litigants in person, who will no longer be able to rely upon legal advice unless they are prepared to accept a cut in what will already be limited damages, are able to access justice when they are unfortunate enough to sustain injury in a non-work related road traffic accident. If this is to be achieved the process needs to have clarity and be designed so that it is accessible to users who have no legal training.

“The Association of British Insurers has raised concerns regarding the issue of minor injuries associated with road traffic accident claims and how in its view this would introduce a lack of clarity for litigants in person pursuing a personal injury claim. With clarity and accessibility in mind we share this concern and the call for more definitive guidance on the valuation of minor injuries associated with road traffic accident claims. In our view the solution is not an extension of the tariff scheme but rather a better defined range of awards that allows the injured person to have a clearer idea of what they should receive for any minor injuries sustained. We would therefore request the government to address this issue and produce a solution which provides clarity to litigants in person whilst ensuring that they are properly compensated for any minor injuries associated with a whiplash injury.”

Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 410,000 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.
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