New Bill Takes Aim at Compensation Culture
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling will introduce his new Social Action Responsibility and Heroism Bill to MPs for the first time today. The Bill is aimed at challenging what Mr Grayling calls ‘the health and safety culture’ that has led to people becoming ‘too inclined to blame someone else’ leading to businesses, charities and local authorities paying out millions in claims with insurance premiums rising as a result.
New measures contained in the proposed legislation mean courts deciding negligence claims will now have to consider whether the defendant was acting for the benefit of society, had demonstrated a generally responsible approach or was acting in an emergency situation.
Whilst trying to cut down the number of claims taken by so called ‘ambulance chasing lawyers’ Mr Grayling is quick to point out that people who truly flout the law should be dealt with appropriately. Talking in the Sunday Telegraph he said; “We should certainly go after the people who are the health and safety rogues, but if we overdo the regulation and make people liable for things where common sense says they have got no responsibility then you just have fewer people in jobs and that can’t be right.”
Earlier this year many voluntary groups warned the government that the fear of litigation was stopping people offering their services while many schools have cut down on the scope and number of trips for pupils over concerns that they could be subject to legal action if something goes wrong.
You can read a transcript of the debate on the Social Action Responsibility and Heroism Bill here.