Employers must foot more of the liability insurance bill

British
employers only pay between £3.3bn and £6.5bn of the £18bn total

Workplace
injury and illness costs the UK economy £18bn a year, yet the average British
boss pays just £70 per employee in insurance to cover the annual cost of
compensating staff injured at work, a TUC report has revealed.

The
union body has urged employers to foot more of the cost of poor workplace
health and safety in a report called Radical Solutions Are All We Can Afford,
its submission to a government review of employer liability insurance.

An
increasingly litigious workforce has led to employers’ liability insurance
premiums soaring, and has prompted the Government review.

The
Engineering Employers’ Federation estimates premiums have risen by 400 per cent
and the Association of British Insurers has calculated it at 100 per cent over
five years.

However,
the TUC argued that on average, employers are paying less than a tenth of the
average cost of insuring a car when it comes to liability insurance for
workers.

British
employers also pay less than a sixth of what their major international
competitors pay for the cost of injury compensation – 0.25 per cent of payroll
compared with 1.5-2 per cent in most developed countries.

Most
of the £18bn cost of workplace injury and illness is paid for by the Government
and the public, with the Health and Safety Executive estimating that employers
pay between £3.3bn and £6.5bn.

Owen
Tudor, TUC health and safety expert, said: “We need a system where the
perpetrator pays, so they have an incentive to prevent injuries and ill health.

“Employers
need to pay more, but they need to get more in return too – insurers should
help them protect their workers and get them back to work fast if they are
injured.”

In
a separate development, MPs have pressed the Government not to further delay
introducing a new law against corporate killing.

The
MPs tabled an early day motion, designed to raise public awareness, on the
subject.

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