An Open letter to members of the House of Lords

22 04 2013

Dear Member of the House of Lords,

Prospect is a trade union that represents staff in the health and safety field, and we have been taking careful note of the deliberations in both Houses on Civil Liability in the event of a health and safety offence in the workplace.

We very much welcome the decision in the House of Lords to oppose the element that was placed in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (without consultation) to remove a core protection for workers which has been in place for 114 years.

Despite the vote to oppose the Clause 61 (now Clause 62) it was overturned in the Commons and will be deliberated upon again on Monday 22nd April in the Upper House. Prospect and many other stakeholders with an interest in health and safety fear that these changes will result in injured workers losing the right for compensation in the event of a breach of health and safety statutory duty by a negligent employer. It will tip the balance towards the negligent employer by requiring greater proof of negligence. As a consequence this will also shift costs to the state, with the NHS picking up the tab for the rehabilitation of injured workers.

The Government claims its proposals pursue recommendations made by their independent advisor, risk management academic Professor Löfstedt. However this week Professor Löfstedt  has publicly and more strongly restated his concerns that the Government has gone too far.

With this in mind we would urge you to attend the Chamber on Monday and vote to protect these important measures that have been in place for 114 years and are set to be removed by an ill-thought through clause.

Vial the prospect Website