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MOJ tops sick-note list

News that the Ministry of Justice came out as the government department with the highest average absence may have elicited a wry smile amongst personal injury professionals.

City AM reported last week that 8.64 days per person were taken off sick by MOJ employees in the latest available data. This is obviously a concern, particularly with the busy catalogue of reforms the department is implementing amidst a continuing round of austerity and budget cuts.

Thankfully some of the targets of its rival departments appear to be being met. For instance, the Department of Transport (7.96 average days sick) has frequently pushed for a reduction in the cost of motor insurance so reports in the Daily Mirror of a 6% fall in premiums will hopefully encourage a few more of their staff to come back into work.

On a more serious note, the Association of British Insurers has super-charged its PR campaign against a perceived increase in noise induced hearing loss claims and the media appears to be lapping it up. With strong coverage across the national media and trade press, the ABI called for ‘urgent action to curb’ NIHL, with more than 30 years of claims data showing numbers of cases notified and claims settled. Despite a sharp fall of 15 000 in notifications from 2013 to last year, the Daily Telegraph swallowed the ABI’s bait by holding two numbers in its hand and choosing the bigger one. Its report compared 2014 with 2011, because that meant the increase was 189%, rather than a less headline grabbing 45% as it was when compared with 2012.   

Elsewhere in the news during June, the fear amongst insurers that cars could one day drive themselves and no longer require their services has resulted in reports that no one would want to drive these vehicles anyway and we should all stop worrying about it. According to Post Magazine, “public mistrust of driverless car technology and a potential influx of personal injury law suits have been cited by industry experts as the main reasons why the development of autonomous vehicles will not lead to the end of compulsory motor insurance.