Legal & Medical Officers Annual Report 2010
Without bringing into question individual claims I can only say that all claims are being processed as fast as possible within the legal framework.
Once again I can only bring it to the members attention that part of your Union Subscription funds the Union's Legal Services Department where most of the services available are provided free of charge.
The Legal Services Department have a long-standing Panel of Solicitors working for them who are familiar with the business framework.
A number of members in the past and will in the future try to engage an outside Solicitor to take on their claim. These solicitors often quote no fee and then ask the CWU branch to pay; the Branch or the CWU will not pay for any Legal Assistance outside of our Panel of Solicitors. Quite a few of these Solicitors have in the past encountered problems when trying to secure information from the various businesses which employ us and have in the end advised members that they cannot proceed with the claim and advised members to use their Union's Solicitors.
This year the Branch has had a number of visits from the Unions Solicitors interviewing members regarding their claims. Whilst attending the Branch the Solicitors have made available a period of time to allow other members to attend the Branch and speak to them over personal issues. This has been well advertised and supported and proved a great success something we will endeavour to do again in 2011.
If any member is involved in an accident on duty they must ensure that their line manager records the accident on the workplace computer via the “ERICA” system.
You must also ring the Branches Legal & Medical Officer on 0151 708 5563 and secure an LS3 form. This will be sent out to you for you to complete and returned in the return envelope enclosed. If for some reason you cannot get a reply on the phone then could you please leave your name, address and workplace and a contact number if there is a need to get hold of you.
You must also report the accident to the Department of Works & Pensions (formally the D.H.S.S.) at Barrow in Furness by phoning them on this number 0845 603 1358. You will need to give them your National Insurance Number when you inform them.
There are two reasons why we ask you to phone the DWP:
The first reason is that they will send you out certain paperwork for you to complete and return in the envelope provided. Once they have received the paperwork they then investigate the accident. Part of their investigation is to establish whether it has been recorded in the local workplace via the “ERICA” system. Once they have established their findings and they are happy that it was an accident on duty they notify you and also your employer of the fact. Your employer then should discount any sick absence that may have been incurred by the accident and this should not trigger any further stages in your sick record procedure.
The second reason as to why we insist that you register the accident with the DWP is that when you completed the Unions LS3 form you actually trigger of two claims. The first claim is handled by the Unions Appointed Solicitors and the second claim is a scheme maintained by your employer and this is the Personnel Accident & Insurance Scheme. The second scheme is based upon any life or long DWP assessments awarded to you.
It must be noted that there is a strict time limitation period of six months from the date of the accident as to register the accident with the employer. If this is not done then this part of the claim will be time barred.
It must also be noted that most people do make a full recovery from their accident and very few receive a life or long-term assessment and do not qualify from any benefit from this scheme but it is there to support those who are seriously injured.
Can you still understand why members still go to outside Solicitors?
You can now register a claim on the Internet by visiting:
Listed below is a list of services that Simpson Millar LLP (one of the Appointed Solicitors) provides:
Personal Injury Claims (on or off duty).
Traffic Accident Assistance.
House Sales and Purchases.
Help with making a Will.
Advise on Employment Rights.
They can be contacted on a Free Phone Number 0800 804 6674 or their E-mail address at:
There is also a CWU Helpline available for members seeking advice who will be put in touch with a solicitor or a trained person depending on the nature of your enquiries:
0800 804 6674
May I take this opportunity to wish everybody a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Legal & Medical Officer