Site Location: Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Justice reforms

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) reforms radically alter the way Employers’ Liability (EL) and Public Liability (PL) injury claims are managed by introducing new tighter timescales and fixed costs, with cost penalties for non-compliance.

With GAB Robins, Arista has compiled information to give:

  • A brief overview of the changes and how they will impact upon brokers and your clients
  • Advice on ‘what to do’ in the event of an incident which could give rise to and EL or PL injury claim
  • An accident investigation guide and forms to help policyholders to immediately capture the relevant information and evidence
Download our information pack here


What do brokers and your clients need to do?

Immediate action when an incident happens - regardless of a claim - is essential.

Under the new regime EL and PL claims (up to £25,000) will be handled within a web-based portal process, which will be managed by Arista and our claims teams.

Claimants still have three years in which to make a claim but they will notify their claims directly to Arista via the portal.

Defendants may no longer receive the traditional claimant’s solicitor’s letter and Arista may learn that claims have been made against our policyholders before the defendant policyholders themselves.

Once a claim is received, the defendant policyholder (or more usually insurers on their behalf) must confirm whether liability is accepted within 30 days for EL and 40 days for PL. Previously there was a 90 day period to respond.

If defendants do not respond within the deadline the claim will drop out of the portal and increased legal costs are payable.

Immediate accident investigation, evidence gathering and reporting are essential to ensure that the right decision is made within the deadline.

Once the liability decision has been communicated further deadlines apply to settlement negotiation and failure to comply again come with costs sanctions.


What do the changes mean for policyholders?

Handling as many claims as possible within the portal will ensure that legal costs are kept to a minimum.

This can only be achieved by ensuring that policyholders fully investigate every incident promptly, so Arista’s claims teams can:

  • Determine if a claim is valid and a compensation payment due, or
  • Secure the evidence available to defend the claim

Policyholders can help keep down the costs of claims by providing insurers with the information they need, within the timescales prescribed, to enable the right decision on legal liability.

Brokers will be pivotal in helping policyholders understand the new regime, the timescales involved and the actions they need to take at the time of any incident


Step by step guidelines

To ensure prompt fact gathering following accidents (regardless of whether a claim has been made) brokers and your clients can use this accident and investigation information to

  • Capture the facts at the time of the incident
  • Collate evidence and documentation – claims are rarely successfully defended without supporting documentary evidence
  • Record the findings

Step 1 - Inspect accident scene including any work equipment and take photographs.

Obtain, secure and remove or isolate from use, as far as possible, any defective equipment/premises allegedly causative of the accident. If CCTV footage is available, retain permanent copy for day/time of incident.

Step 2 Complete Accident and Investigation Report form

Describe what happened; give as much factual detail as you can. Identify any discrepancies; doubts of uncertainties but avoid speculation or opinion.

Step 3 Use Witness Statement form to record all witness evidence.

Interview the injured person and record their account, signed and dated if possible. Identify any other witnesses and record their accounts, ensuring that they are signed and dated (you may need to print further copies of Witness Statement form as needed)

Step 4 Complete Health and Safety Executive (HSE) forms if the incident is notifiable to the HSE, and retain a copy for insurers.

Step 5 Complete Pre-Action Document Disclosure Mandate form

It is important to collate and attach all relevant documentation as the claimant’s solicitors will request documentation when a claim is presented to you and you must make documents available. These may include:

  • Accident report forms, HSE forms, written findings of internal investigations, training records, evidence of supply and use of Personal Protective Equipment, maintenance logs for premises/equipment, risk assessments, etc.

The MOJ Civil Procedure Rules contain a pre-action personal injury standard disclosure list which you can access at http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/protocol/prot_pic#IDA23KCC

Step 6 Complete Earnings Schedule

...if the accident involves an employee. Identify the period of absence and attach copies of Statement of Fitness to Return to Work Notes to the earnings schedule

Step 7 Once investigation is complete, notify your insurance broker/insurer and retain copies of all completed records, statements and documentation in a secure place


MOJ contact information

GAB Robins are on hand to offer support and professional advice as soon as an incident happens and throughout the life of a claim.

You can contact GAB Robins at

Email: gabr_arista@gabrobins.co.uk

Telephone: 0844 770 5150