Section 69 Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Act 2013

One the biggest changes for employment law in recent times has not just been the gradual emergence of ‘zero hour contracts’, but also the introduction of section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. It is a reform that has long-term effects for UK employment law and dramatically alters the way personal injury claims can be made against an employer.

Beforehand, employees who suffered an injury at work could raise a civil liability claim if their injury arose as a result of a statutory breach, and the employer would be under a ‘strict liability’ to pay compensation. The employee could therefore rely on health and safety legislation in order to make a claim, without the need to prove culpability. This occurred even in situations where the employer could not have done any more to protect their employee.

Section 69 radically alters this structure, so that an employee now wishing to make a claim against an employer must prove fault or negligence on the employer’s part in order to establish liability.

The potential effects of this reform are far-reaching, as employees will now have the added difficulty of proving liability before receiving compensation. The reform was introduced by the Government as a means to reduce the number of claims submitted and tackle the ‘compensation culture’ that has developed in recent years.

The number of claims settled outside of court is also expected to fall, as there is no longer the legal certainty that employers will be found liable. This will, however, apply upward pressure on legal costs for both sets of parties as claims, which would previously have been settled instantly, now require investigative measures in order to prove whether or not an employer had taken reasonable care.

If you have been injured at work and want clear legal advice on your rights and responsibilities, give us a call on 01536 276300 and see if you can make a claim.