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Damages for work fatalities insulting

Published 16/11/2015

IMAGINE that your wife, or husband, goes to work one day and doesn't return home, ever, because they were killed as a result of an employer's failure to do what he is legally obliged to do to protect his employees.

In the midst of all the personal devastation and grief, you learn that the employer is liable to pay you a statutory sum of just £11,800 for your loss. This is the level of statutory bereavement damages here - the UK's lowest.

A public consultation from the Department of Justice closes at the end of this month and proposes to increase the level of damages, perhaps in line with England and Wales (£12,980) - still an insultingly low and arbitrary figure.

The consultation is, at least, a step in the right direction. I hope the step is made and that the department takes heed of the need for reform to go much further.

MARTIN HANNA

Executive committee member (NI)

Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Belfast Telegraph

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