By Bill Heaney
Mark Griffin MSP has today launched a new bill to strengthen protections and autonomy for those injured in the workplace.
Mr Griffin’s Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory Council Bill aims to establish a new council of experts to help design and deliver the new employment injury benefit.
Responsibility for employment injury benefits was devolved to Scotland, however these powers have not yet been used.
Labour is calling for this Council to be set up to advise on the new benefit and put the voices of workers and Trade Unions at the heart of our approach.
This council would be tasked with advising the Scottish Government on which occupations and conditions the new injury benefit should cover.
It could also gain substantial new powers to research the injury and diseases acquired in modern Scottish workplaces including Long-Covid, cancer amongst firefighters, and women’s health and safety in the workplace.
On Monday, Mr Griffin will be joined by the General Secretary of the STUC, Roz Foyer, pictured left, to hear from workers affected by workplace injury and disease.
Endorsing the bill, Ms Foyer is expected to support a new campaign toolkit, entitled Our Workplaces, Our Health, Our Voice, ahead of a summer campaign in support of the bill.
Mark Griffin said: “The devolution of employment injury benefits is a chance to deliver a system that is truly fit for purpose, and my bill will help make that happen.
“Every worker who has lost their livelihood or suffered injury in the workplace deserves justice, but far too many are being failed by the current system.
“From the frontline workers now struggling with Long Covid to firefighters diagnosed with cancer, there are still industrial diseases going unrecognised.
“This Bill will help us design a system that truly works and give workers and Trade Unions their voice in this process.
“The Scottish Government must back this bill, use its new powers, and deliver a Council that puts workers’ voices at the heart of the new benefit.”