Health and Safety protections defeated in House of Lords

Forklift in warehouse

UPDATE:  We were very disappointed that the House of Lords voted last night (Monday 22nd April) to accept the UK Government’s desired version of Clause 62 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.   This means that when the bill eventually becomes law, it will include Clause 62.  The clause will amend the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, removing a worker’s right to compensation for injuries caused by an employer’s breach of health and safety regulations. This will have real and unjust consequences for health and safety in workplaces across the country.

Speaking after the vote, Digby Brown partner Gordon Dalyell said:

“Despite the best efforts of those Peers and MPs who have stood up for workplace health and safety during this debate, it now appears the bill will become law with Clause 62 intact. This is a deeply disappointing and regressive move which takes health and safety law in the UK back quite literally over 100 years.

“At Digby Brown, we’ll continue to be committed to helping and representing people who, through no fault of their own, have suffered injury or loss as a result of an accident at work. The unfortunate reality is, though, that this legislation will make it harder for people to get fair and appropriate compensation and lead to reduced health and safety practices and standards. “

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Thursday 18th April

Digby Brown was disappointed that the UK Government used its majority in the House of Commons to overturn an important House of Lords vote on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill earlier this week.

Last month, Peers voted 225-223 against Clause 62 in the bill. The clause would amend the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, removing a worker’s right to compensation for injuries caused by an employer’s breach of health and safety regulations and leave many people who, through no fault of their own, suffer injury at work facing significant hurdles to obtaining any, let alone fair, compensation.

On Tuesday (16th April), the House of Commons voted 316-241 to reject the Lords vote. The vote means the bill will be sent back to the Lords with Clause 62 still intact.  The House of Lords will take up the issue again on Monday (22nd April).

Digby Brown partner Gordon Dalyell said

“On Tuesday evening, the House of Commons voted to reduce the level of permissions needed to build a conservatory but voted against protecting health and safety and workplace welfare.

“By reinstating Clause 62 into the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, the Government is seeking to force though a change in the law that will take health and safety law back over 100 years.

“This damaging clause will prevent people who, through no fault of their own, have suffered injury and loss because of an accident at work, being able to claim fair and proper compensation. Beyond that it will mean lower health and safety standards, as robust regulations are a proven factor in improving workplace safety.

“I hope members of the House of Lords will continue to stand up for workplace health and safety when they reconsider the issue on Monday.”

Further Information

Gordon Dalyell discussed the consequences for workplace health and safety if this clause is put into law in an article published in The Scotsman newspaper’s Law and legal Affairs section in February.