Removal of strict liability

Following approval by the House of Lords, employees will no longer have a right to compensation under the “strict liability” rule. The previous system operated such that if an employer had, for example, failed to carry out a risk assessment as required by law, that employer could be held automatically liable for some workplace injuries even if there was no negligence.

Viscount Younger explained that “the Government remain of the view that it is not reasonable or fair that employers should be held liable to pay compensation when they have done nothing wrong and taken all reasonable steps to protect their employees.” Claims will now succeed only where the injured party can demonstrate that a breach of a duty owed to him had led to the injury, and that it was reasonably foreseeable that this would happen.

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