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Workers are facing an 'onslaught' by the government on their ability to claim compensation, the TUC has warned. The union body says compensation is facing a triple whammy, with for workplace injury and ill-health victims, victims of criminal violence and those unfairly dismissed all set to lose out. For those suffering work-related injuries and ill-health, 'the government seems hell-bent on making it as hard and expensive to claim as they possibly can,' a TUC bulletin warns. It dismisses government claims of a 'compensation culture', pointing out the number of personal injury claims for employer negligence 'has fallen by a staggering 63 per cent over the past ten years.' Under a planned law, millions will be deprived of the ability to claim or will lose damages, says TUC. The government is also proposing to slash payments under the criminal injuries compensation scheme, with an estimated 17,000 victims of violent crime every year to be excluded from the scheme. This includes many injured on the public services frontline. 'Finally the government wants to make it more difficult, and expensive, to get compensation if an employee is unfairly dismissed, victimised for being a safety representative or if the employer refuses to agree to safety representatives training,' the TUC briefing says. It adds 'it is not only dismissal and victimisation claims that will be affected. For example, the only way that a health and safety representative can seek to challenge a refusal by their employer to give them time off for training is by taking a case to an employment tribunal. The representative will now be charged for trying to get the training they need to help their fellow workers.' The TUC briefing is the latest in a series for use by union reps in the build-up to a 28 April 'Day of Action to defend health and safety.'
Compensation under threat. Defend health and safety Day of Action, 28 April 2012, Bulletin Number 3, TUC, February 2012. TUC Workers' Memorial Day webpages.
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