From the TUC

Employers Liability Insurance Bureau consultation opens

10 Feb 2010, by Guest in Working Life

The Department for Work and Pensions launched an important new consultation today, on setting up an Employers Liability Insurance Bureau. Creating a system like this will be of real benefit for people who develop diseases as a result of being exposed to asbestos or other dangerous substances.

Currently, because of the length of time between exposure to a chemical or asbestos and the development of diseases, it can be very difficult to trace who the insurer was at the time of exposure. This means that, in many cases, someone who contracts an work-related disease as a result of their employer’s negligence is unable to get the compensation they are entitled to.

The Government proposals will ensure that, where an insurer can’t be traced, those who develop a disease will receive compensation in the same way that someone hit by a car will get compensation where the owner of the vehicle cannot be traced.

The proposal for a tracing office is also a good one, and should make it easier to trace policies (depending of course on the quality of records kept on the tracing bureau’s database).

Overall, the suggestions make for a fair and common sense solution that the TUC has long been campaigning on. Building on the compensation changes that the Government had already implemented for those with mesothelioma, the proposals will make a marked difference to those who suffer from a fatal disease as a result of exposure to this deadly fibre.

Nevertheless, we’re also disappointed that the Government has still not come forward with proposals to reverse the House of Lords ruling to remove the right to compensation for those who develop pleural plaques, and we will continue to campaign for a change in the law on that point.