Stakeholders are divided over the willingness of the government to reform employers' liability (EL) insurance on the eve of the publication of its reports into EL.

The Department for Work and Pen ...

Stakeholders are divided over the willingness of the government to reform employers' liability (EL) insurance on the eve of the publication of its reports into EL.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will report their findings on 3 June, but those expecting recommendations for significant changes may be disappointed.

Work Minister Nick Brown said that, as EL had proved to be a complex area, the DWP report would consist only of preliminary findings, and would set out a timetable for a further report.

An ABI spokesman said further reporting was necessary due to the size of the problem. "It's a tremendously complex issue and its not going to be solved overnight," the spokesman said. But he said the ABI was hoping for initial guidance from the DWP on legal costs and the funding of long-tail disease claims.

Royal & SunAlliance technical insurances manager Phil Bell welcomed the news that the government would consider EL in more detail. "It is an acknowledgement that what we have at present is not working particularly well for anybody," Bell said.

But Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF) director general Martin Temple said fears were growing that despite the support for change, the government might "lack the resolve" to reform the system. "Anything short of a commitment to fundamental reform of the current arrangements will be a lost opportunity," he said.

Bell said he was expecting the OFT's review into why premiums in the classes of public, product, professional and EL had increased to be more definitive.