This will be the place to find all breaking news and updates from Thompsons and personal injury litigation in general.
Take a pause, have a deep breath, and ask yourself: how are you really feeling? If you aren’t doing well or if you are struggling, remember that is okay. It is okay not to be okay, you have gotten through one of the toughest years in modern history.
Over the past twelve months the problems with the need to protect one’s health and the need to put food on the table while carrying out a job has become glaringly apparent in the UK. Those in secure roles, for example managerial or professional roles, with the ability to work at home safely, along with the security of sick pay, have experienced a different pandemic reality compared to those who are on zero hours temporary contracts that require them to leave home every morning, no matter what. This has brought forward the uncomfortable truth which has now been revealed by the recent Trade Union Congress research. Those who work in insecure roles are twice as likely to die from Covid- 19.
The past year has led to a significant rise in employees working from home. Whilst businesses and workers have adapted to this challenging change of scenery, it is important to keep in mind the duties owed by employers to their employees. Where an employee may now be working from home, the health and safety responsibilities incumbent on the employer remain unchanged.
Following on from our recent blog launching Thompsons 2021 Scottish Parliament Election Manifesto we are exploring each of our demands in more depth.Our Survivor Team works every day for the justice of survivors of historical abuse and have been watching with keen interest the development of the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill. This Bill, which aims to compensate survivors, has recently been finalised and while we acknowledge it is a step in the right direction it is lacking in several areas and we urge to next Scottish Parliament to amend these areas.
International Workers’ Memorial Day is marked on 28th April to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of work related disease or injury, or in accidents at work. For many, this conjures up images of the dangerous industrial work environments of the past, rather than a current and relevant issue, but that does not reflect the reality. The theme of IWMD this year is health and safety as a fundamental workers’ right, and over the course of the past year, the importance of this has hit home for everyone.
Another session of the Scottish Parliament has ended without legislation being passed to tackle the glaring failure in our criminal law that has been well know to everyone for decades. It is a failure that is of course felt most acutely and heartbreakingly by those families who have lost a loved one to gross negligence or recklessness, particularly on the part of organisations, but who did not see justice done through a conviction for Culpable Homicide. It is a failure that puts us all at risk. It is a failure that if anything ought to be a priority for our politicians at Holyrood it is surely one. In fact, it ought to be at the very top of their list.
The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) has recently published an interim report into the relationship between COVID-19 and occupation (‘COVID-19 and occupation: position paper 48’). The IIAC are an independent scientific body who advise the UK Government on whether benefits should be payable for certain industrial injuries and diseases.
For those of our client’s involved in Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs) the one thing that comes up again, and again, is the time it takes for the case to get to Court.To start with an example, we were involved in an FAI in early 2019 relating to a death from 2014. That is almost 5 years for the case to be heard before a Court. That is 5 years where a family may be without answers about how and why their loved one died, 5 years without real clarity on the circumstances around the death. 5 years for staff involved in a death, through the course of their employment, of worry and anguish as to whether they did all they could to prevent the death. 5 years for memories to fade, evidence to be less reliable and people involved to have moved on and be more difficult to trace.