Socialist Worker

Tory bill threatens access for personal injury cases

Issue No. 2619

A protest in defence of Legal Aid. New Tory proposals will stop access to legal aid for those taking cases of less than £2,000 to the small claims court

A protest in defence of Legal Aid. New Tory proposals will stop access to legal aid for those taking cases of less than £2,000 to the small claims court (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The Tories’ Civil Liability Bill will be a blow to workers’ access to compensation if it passes into law.

It has its second reading in the House of Commons next Tuesday and would become law in 2019.

It seeks to stop access to legal aid for those taking cases of less than £2,000 to the small claims court.

This would mean employers could evade responsibility for compensating workers for accidents at work.

Some 40 percent of personal injury cases are for claims of less than £2,000. If the threshold is raised to £2,000 it means that up to 500,000 people would be denied free legal cover to pursue claims.

In July a group of 36 MPs—35 Labour and 1 Plaid Cymru—backed an early day motion supporting changing the threshold to £1,500.

The threshold was last set in 1999 and the £1,500 figure is in line with inflation. There should be no limit on workers’ ability to hold bosses to account—the threshold should be scrapped altogether.


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News
Tue 28 Aug 2018, 13:47 BST
Issue No. 2619
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