On 29 October 2018, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, presented his Budget to Parliament.[i] The ‘Welfare’ section introduced the following action:
‘Inclusion of Dupuytren’s contracture in Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit – Dupuytren’s contracture will be added to the existing list of over 70 prescribed diseases for which Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit [IIDB] is payable, as recommended by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. Eligible claimants are expected to gain, on average, over £1,200 per year’.
Previously, in edition 224 of BC Disease News (here), we reported that the Department for Work and Pensions would not be adding the condition, otherwise known as ‘Miner’s Claw’, to the IIDB scheme.
In subsequent efforts, the Durham Miners’ Association worked with unions, community groups and MP’s across the country to successfully reverse the decision, on the basis that a 2014 report, produced by the Industrial Injuries Advisory (IIAC), concluded that sufficient exposure to hand-held vibrating tools could more than double the risk of Dupuytren’s disease and contracture.
The decision to recognise Dupuytren’s contracture as an industrial disease will be effective from April 2019.[ii]
News bulletins claim that ‘thousands’ of miners could be affected and may soon pursue claims against their former employers.[iii]
[i] ‘Policy Paper: Budget 2018’ (29 October 2018 GOV.UK) <https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2018-documents/budget-2018> accessed 1 November 2018.
[ii] Gavin Engelbrecht, ‘Durham Miners’ Association and MPs welcome recognition of ‘miner’s claw’ as industrial disease’ (31 October 2018 The Northern Echo) <https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/17192266.durham-miners-association-and-mps-welcome-recognition-of-miners-claw-as-industrial-disease/> accessed 1 November 2018.
[iii] Kevin Clark, ‘Thousands of former miners in line for benefits after Government declares ‘Miner’s Claw’ an Industrial Disease’ (31 October 2018 The Shields Gazette) <https://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/thousands-of-former-miners-in-line-for-benefits-after-government-declares-miner-s-claw-an-industrial-disease-1-9422211> accessed 1 November 2018.