The Trades Union Congress, or TUC, has said that the government is guilty of brainwashing the country into believing that there is a compensation culture and attempting to vilify those that have a legitimate cause to claim compensation for their workplace injuries. The TUC has said that the government, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, is making this move in order to be able to reduce or remove the health and safety laws that are currently in place to protect workers.
The whole personal injury process has come under extensive changes in recent months as the government has attempts to reduce the amount of funding it receives while similarly reducing the amount of bureaucracy and red tape that is met by employers. These reforms have already been criticised by many organisations, individuals, and even the government’s own lawyers. This isn’t the only area in which the government shakeup is proving unsuccessful either.
The Health and Safety Executive, the HSE, has also released plans to change health and safety laws. These changes would mean that fewer near misses would have to be reported while there would be considerably fewer illnesses and injuries listed for companies that do need to submit a report. The HSE believes that this will cut the cost to businesses by millions of pounds a year but some of the proposed changes have been hit by criticism. The proposals are set to come into force in October 2013 but do not yet have parliamentary approval, which would be required.
Hazards, with the backing of the TUC, conducted a study and published a report on the success rate of work related injury claimants. The figures show that the success rate of such claims has plummeted 60% in the past decade.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said that “the government is trying to brainwash people into thinking the UK has a rife compensation culture” and he went on to say that the likely outcome of the changes would mean a “much higher rate of accidents, injuries and illnesses in the future”.