11 March 2013

Stop the attack on workplace rights in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

On the 17 October the House of Commons voted to make the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (ERR) Bill a law.


ASLEF has opposed the Bill because

- it undermines rights at work

- makes it easier for bosses to sack people

- makes it harder for people to access justice if they have been treated unfairly at work

- lowers the amount of compensation unfairly dismissed workers can receive; and

- introduces ‘settlement agreements’ that make it easier for workers to be bribed out of their jobs.


The government has already removed most legal aid. Now it plans

- To charge to go to an employment tribunals; and

- To reduce the amount an injury victim can recover in costs.

This means that many people will now agree to a poorly-compensated ‘settlement agreement’ because accessing justice will seem too complicated and expensive.


ASLEF is further concerned that a last minute amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (ERR) Bill proposes that injured workers lose their basic right to make a civil claim for personal injury where employers have breached statutory duty within health and safety at work regulations.

If this (Section 61 of ERRB) clause remains, employers will no longer be liable in the civil courts for breach of the health and safety regulations - unless express provision is made for them to do so. This Bill could restrict access to justice for the most vulnerable in our society, injured through no fault of their own.

There has been no public consultation on removing or amending civil liability in health and safety and there has been no impact assessment. Labour’s challenge to the amendment was voted down and the amended Bill has now moved to the House of Lords.

For more information:



Make sure your MP knows your views on this attack on working peoples’ rights!

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