TUC calls for rise in illness pay-outs

The TUC is calling for higher compensation awards for workplace illness and

A report by the TUC urges employers to recognise that poor health and safety
costs the British economy £19bn a year. Paying the Right Price says the most
common occupational diseases are back strain, repetitive strain injury and
work-related stress.

It says each year about a million people suffer a workplace injury or
illness. Of those, at least 25,000 are forced to leave the labour market and up
to 300 die.

The TUC wants so-called punitive damages introduced to the civil
compensation system where employers have not heeded warnings about inadequate
health and safety. The report urges the Government to reconsider its opposition
to such damages.

The call coincides with a Court of Appeal hearing into pain and suffering
damage payments.

A specially constituted Court of Appeal of five judges is sitting to hear a
series of cases. The cases will be used to debate the Law Commission’s
recommendations to raise compensation levels (News, 25 January).


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