HC Deb 02 July 1942 vol 381 cc500-1
39. Mr. Isaacs

asked the Home Secretary whether he can now give the result of his negotiations with the employers' associations and insurance companies regarding their attitude to actions at common law by injured workmen who have accepted payment of compensation?

Mr. H. Morrison

Yes, Sir. It appeared that the difficulty might be overcome by the employers, or their insurers, undertaking that where compensation payments have been made in respect of an accident to a workman, neither his employers nor anyone on their behalf will raise the defence that the acceptance of those payments, or the form of receipt for them, shall debar the workman or his dependants or personal representatives from bringing proceedings otherwise than under the Workmen's Compensation Act. I am glad to say that an assurance in these terms has been given by the employers' organisations and insurance interests generally, subject to a condition that proceedings independently of the Act are commenced within three months of the accident. The arrangement does not apply to payments made under an award or recorded agreement under the Act. This assurance should make it unnecessary to propose legislation to deal with this matter at the present time.

Mr. Isaacs

While I thank the Minister for his reply, which will be of great help to the persons concerned, is he satisfied that this kind of undertaking will stop anybody who is not a member of the employers' organisation, or not covered by one of the insurance companies, from taking action contrary to the assurance?

Mr. Morrison

I have every hope that it will work out satisfactorily, but if it should not do so, I will give the matter further consideration