Last Friday, David Cameron announced the government will tackle the ‘compensation culture’ in the UK by shaking up health and safety measures and putting an end to unnecessary bureaucracy.
Former Tory minister Lord Young, who has been carrying out a review into the compensation culture, said that although the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act has been successful, the public still have a very dim view of health and safety.
He pointed out that business owners are constantly worrying about having to pay out on ridiculous personal injury at work claims; hardly surprising when the press features such stories on an almost daily basis.
Health and safety policies at work are now operated in a climate of fear. Since the introduction of no win no fee claims, people believe there is no financial risk involved in filing a personal injury claim. In fact there have been instances where claims management companies have offered financial enticements to individuals to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Claim management companies are going to find themselves bound by tighter advertising regulations in the future in a bid to dispel some of the ‘compensation culture’.
Lord Young recommended that straightforward personal injury claims should be dealt with in the same manner as road traffic accidents are under a scheme recently introduced to make the process easier and cheaper.
He also proposed a common sense approach to school outings. Currently, there is so much paperwork to complete that it puts teachers off organising trips. He recommended all school activities should be included on a single consent form.
Of course, people are still entitled to make a personal injury claim when they have suffered due to the negligence of another party. But the government intends to put a stop to bogus and outlandish claims.
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