The government has announced a review of the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit scheme.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit provides compensation and benefits for people who are injured or made ill through work. Workers do not have to demonstrate that the employer was negligent.
The benefit was introduced in 1948 when 61% of jobs were in heavy industry. There are currently 350,000 people receiving the benefit in the UK, at a cost of £776m.
Jim Murphy, minister for employment and welfare reform, said: “The time is right to look at the kind of occupational injury scheme we need for the future. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit was introduced in 1948 to serve a specific purpose.
“The workforce and the labour market have changed radically since then, with a huge shift away from the heavy industries and women now forming half the workforce.”
The review will address questions such as:"What is the purpose of a 'no-fault' occupational injuries and diseases scheme"; "Who should be covered by a new occupational injury scheme"; and whether employers should do more to help reduce the risks of work-related accidents and illness occurring.
The consultation runs until 22 April.