Measures linked to the Civil Liability Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Commons on 4 September, 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.
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.
“Over 350,000 accident victims per year who currently receive legal representation will have this essential support removed by unfair, unnecessary and unjustified legislation. While injured workers will be forced to fend for themselves; employers will still be able to pay for expensive lawyers to represent them.
“We urge MPs to back our campaign and persuade 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.”
Individuals 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.”
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