As part of the Scottish Government’s most recent legislative programme, the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill was introduced to put in place a statutory framework for the planning and delivery of services provided to children and young people.
Summary of the Bill
The Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 25 February 2014. It is the latest in a series of changes, which began in the 1970s, to achieve integration of health and social care services. The view of the Scottish Government, which introduced the Bill, is that integration will lead to better outcomes for patients, service users and carers. The Scottish Government also hopes that long-term efficiencies will be achieved by delivering care in the community setting where possible, rather than in hospitals or care homes.
From 6 April 2014, tribunals will have discretion to impose financial penalties on employers who lose a tribunal claim (or any part of a claim) where the employer’s breach had ‘one or more aggravating features’. The penalty will be in addition to any financial award in favour of the claimant.
What Will Amount To Aggravating Features?
ACAS is preparing to launch a new early conciliation service which aims to resolve more employment disputes before they reach tribunals. The service will be available from 6 April 2014, and will be mandatory from 6 May 2014.
From 6 May, before raising a tribunal claim, prospective claimants will need to submit an ‘early conciliation form’ to ACAS. Importantly, however, neither claimants nor respondents will be obliged to engage in the conciliation process.
How Will It Work?
Under the new Mesothelioma Act, mesothelioma sufferers diagnosed on or after 25 July 2012 who cannot trace a former employer or insurer and who have not already received compensation will be eligible for compensation providing they can prove negligent exposure. If successful, they will receive 75% of the average Court award for mesothelioma claims. Legal costs are expected to be fixed at a maximum £7,000 and will be deducted from the compensation paid.
There are indications that Scotland is witnessing an increase in fraudulent claims. It may be the case that the recent costs reforms recommended in the Taylor report will see a greater number of fraud claims run through trial with a view to seeking a favourable costs outcome. Is it time for a focus on MacFraud?
Our December ebulletin outlined proposed changes to the time limits for raising injury claims in Scotland from three to five years. This update examines the proposed changes in relation to the application of time limits where a person has a legal disability; altering the test from “unsoundness of mind” to “incapable”.
The Courts Reform (Scotland) Bill (aka the Gill Bill) has now formally been introduced in the Scottish Parliament. It snuck in on Friday and was obscured somewhat by the ongoing furore over the abolition of corroboration in criminal cases. Our previous October e-update can be found here.
Although there was an extensive period of consultation there are no changes as far as we can tell from the initial draft.