New law will support Volunteers
Date Added: 05/06/2014
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has announced that in future “Good Samaritans and community heroes” will have the law on their side.
The government is taking action to support the millions of people who volunteer and carry out good deeds every year. An important part of this is to make sure they are not put off from participating by worries about risk and liability if something goes wrong. Changes are being made to counteract the growing perception that people risk being successfully sued if they do something for the common good – like leading a school trip, organising a village fete, clearing snow from a path in front of their home or helping in an emergency situation. The measures will also provide greater protection to small business owners who face challenges from irresponsible employees even if they have taken a responsible approach to safety training and procedures.
The law will be changed so that judges will have to give weight to 3 additional factors when deciding negligence cases.
If the person was doing something for ‘the benefit of society’ – to give weight to the fact people were doing a good deed like volunteering, running an event or trip, or helping out by clearing snow
If they had been acting in a ‘generally responsible way’ – to make sure the court will give consideration to the fact people may have taken care when organising an activity but an accident has happened
If they were ‘acting in emergency’ – if they stepped in to help someone in danger but something went wrong.