by Conor Bollins, Chair
The Annual Labour Party Conference is just about to get under way. Our members will be helping to shape the transformative vision that Labour has for the country, through policy discussion and decision-making. Kingston & Surbiton Labour are delighted to have submitted a motion to Conference that was drafted by Clare Keogh, one of our own members. The motion relates to Access to Justice for Injured Workers. The motion is worded as follows:
“Access to justice for workers has been eroded by successive governments. This has led to a reduction in those able to seek redress for unlawful treatment and has also resulted in many workplaces becoming more dangerous, with employers safe in the knowledge that the law is weighted in their favour.
Conference welcomes the 2017 legal victory which enabled many workers to once again bring claims of unfair dismissal or discrimination without employment tribunal fees, but workers who have suffered personal injury as a result of their employer’s negligence or health and safety breaches, continue to face hurdles.
Conference notes that the Fixed Costs System was introduced with intent to provide transparency for claimants and prevent costs spiralling. But insurance companies are able to exploit this system, creating extra work and costs for claimants which will then never be recovered, once the case is won.
Court fees for personal injury claims limit access for ordinary workers.
Damages awarded to workers are falling as a result of claimants not being able to pay their lawyers for additional work by recovering costs- while employers with greater resources are in a position to keep litigating.
Labour must call for a review of the fixed costs scheme introduced in 2013, and reduce the number of cases to which it applies. Court fees must be lowered to ensure that ordinary workers are not denied access to justice and the Labour Party will oppose attempts to unjustly increase the small claims limit for recoverable personal injury costs.”
We hope that the wider Party and public takes an interest in the motion. We also hope that everyone thoroughly enjoys what is set to be a dynamic festival of ideas!