Proposed Change to Civil Liability Laws

As part of the Government’s drive to cut red tape for business and reduce the legislative burden, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill includes provision for the removal of the right to bring a civil claim for breach of statutory duty.  In effect, this will amend section 47 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and other health and safety legislation which places a strict liability on the employer making them (in some cases) liable to pay compensation even when every reasonable step to comply has been taken.

The proposed change is intended to help employers who do all that can be reasonably expected to manage health and safety effectively and in accordance with the law defend personal injury claims, and to make it harder for claimants to progress claims capitalising on legal loopholes.

The Bill has been debated in the House of Commons and will now be sent to the House of Lords for review.