Employers to face liability for victims of crime at work

The Home Office is standing by proposals to make employers liable for compensating staff who are victims of violent crime at work, despite criticism from business groups.

In its Green Paper, Rebuilding lives – supporting the victims of crime, the government states that criminal injury compensation was never intended to be a substitute for employers’ insurance and should not cover workers injured as a result of violent crime at work.

It goes on to say that if people were compensated for such incidents, it would act as a disincentive for employers to make the workplace safe and do everything reasonably possible to protect their staff.

David Frost, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said making businesses pay when staff were attacked “would simply add insult to injury”.

“Why should businesses be made to pay for acts of violence that clearly occur as a result of a breakdown in social behaviour?” he said.

But a Home Office spokesman said: “Employers are best placed to protect their employees and so should bear the risk.”


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