The Civil Liability Bill has come under fire from a unions

The Civil Liability faced a scathing attack today from unions as the bill completes its passage through parliament.

In a last ditch plea to make changes to the bill, a group of unionists, writing in The Guardian, said it was a ruse to harm workers’ rights.

”On Tuesday of next week, the civil liability bill is expected to complete its passage through parliament. The government say that the bill will tackle a whiplash “epidemic”, but it hides a £1.3bn annual gift to the insurers, a loss to government coffers of £146m a year, and an assault on access to justice that will impact hundreds of thousands of people whose claims have nothing to do with whiplash,” they said.

”By statutory instrument, the government plans to sneak through a doubling of the small claims limit, below which injured people don’t get their legal fees paid.

”Up to 40% of those injured at work will lose their rights. Thousands of workers will be left fighting insurers on their own and in their own time.

”Injured people whose claim has a value of up to £2,000 – thousands of people a year – will be expected to take on well-funded insurers on their own.”

The union said the bill was a ‘green light’ for employers to cut corners on health and safety, knowing injured workers won’t seek compensation or will struggle to do so. 

Injured workers should be exempt from any increases, they said.

Those signing the plea were: Paddy Lillis General secretary, Usdaw; Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite; Tim Roach General secretary, GMB; Dave Prentis General secretary, Unison; and Mick Cash General secretary, RMT.

The ABI has successfully batted away objectors to the bill. 

Following a survey which showed the public backed the bill, ABI policy chief James Dalton said:  “Most people recognise the benefits of a simple, streamlined system for dealing with low value personal injury claims, that preserves access to justice, and would be confident to use it.