ABI Urges TUC to Join in Personal Injury Reform

May 2, 2005

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has urged the U.K.’s largest trade union, the Trades Union Council or TUC, to play a more active role in the drive to reform workplace compensation and to participate in the government’s proposed pilot program to streamline workers personal injury claims.

The ABI expressed disappointment at the TUC’s recent decision to pull out of the Government’s employers’ liability pilot scheme. The scheme, which would be directed by the U.K.’s Department for Work and Pensions and major insurers during the first half of this year, aims to provide better service for the payment of personal injury claims below £10,000 ($19,000) without litigation. The aim is to reduce transaction costs and speed up access to rehabilitation services.

The ABI noted that “legal costs make up to 40 percent of the cost of employers’ liability claims. The ABI wants this figure to be reduced so that more compensation is paid to claimants.”

Speaking at a conference hosted by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance, stressed: “The pilots are a genuine attempt to improve the current system which is dogged by high costs and unnecessary legal wrangling. It is disappointing that the TUC pulled out without giving the pilots a chance. We would still like to see the pilots go ahead where they can.

“The TUC must not sit on the sidelines, but needs to be fully engaged in this important debate. We are keen to discuss with the TUC how they can become fully involved in developing a workplace compensation system that is fit for the 21st century. “

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