Changes in legislation announced yesterday are set to make a huge difference to thousands of sick workers who wish to make an industrial disease claim. Under the current system, these claimants would miss out because they are unable to trace their employers’ insurance records. This is a common occurrence as many people suffer industrial diseases which take a long time to develop. Conditions such as mesothelioma and vibration white finger can take at least 20 years to develop or show any symptoms. When they do however, the effect on a life can be devastating. Problems claiming compensation can occur if the company they used to work for has stopped trading, gone bankrupt or not kept insurance records properly. This currently means that with no insurance company to claim from, no compensation can be received.
The Government revealed plans yesterday about their wish to create an employers’ liability tracing office that would work on behalf of workers, helping those who are struggling to find their former employers liability insurance policies to hunt them down. They also wish to create an employers’ liability insurance to provide compensation to those that are still unable to trace the policies. The insurance tracing office would set up a database that would hold the details of all employers’ liability, policies making it much easier to trace policies in the future. In a statement the Department for Work and Pensions stated that, “far too many people suffering from serious industrial diseases are unable to trace their insurance polices and get the compensation they deserve.”