Criminal compensation ended for train drivers

15 November 2012

Many of us thought the government had stepped back from watering down the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (CICS) when a committee of MPs failed to agree to changes in September. However on 12 November Justice Secretary Chris Grayling forced through amendments to the Scheme in the House of Commons by 275 votes to 231. Effectively he has barred train drivers from compensation when they witness track suicides.

The changes will

  • remove injuries in bands 1-5 (£1,000 - £2,000)
  • significantly reduce (by approximately half) the tariffs in bands 6-12
  • remove injuries caused by suicide or attempted suicide from scope
  • include a number of new rules which change eligibility criteria, including a requirement to report the incident to the police.

‘This means that our members will no longer be entitled to any recognition of their trauma,’ said ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan.

‘It is grossly unfair. There is nothing train drivers can do to prevent suicides, and we are first on the scene in extremely gruesome circumstances.

‘CICS payments never compensated for the strains of these incidents, but at least they provided an acknowledgement of what drivers endure. To remove these provisions is petty, vindictive and mean.”

The new scheme comes into force on 27 November, so if members have outstanding claims, they must make sure they are lodged before this date.

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