Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has expressed his frustration at the snails’ pace of progress of the promised reform of legislation in relation to duty of care, which will amend a number of sections of the Occupiers Liability Act 1995, to limit the liability exposure of occupiers to liability to insurance claims.
This is an essential piece of legislation, which many businesses up and down the country are literally depending on to allow them to stay open in the face of the crippling increase in insurance premiums over the last number of years which have decimated businesses.
“I met with Minister Sean Fleming a year ago following a situation where Squirrel Scramble Tree Adventure Park came close to closing as a consequence of insurance increases which saw their premium rise from €26,000 to an eye watering €88,000 in the space of a year. Previous commitments from Minister Fleming have amounted to nothing.
What is needed is a simple amendment to a number of sections of the Occupiers Liability Act 1995, designed to restrict the liability of occupiers. The legislation needs to strike the right balance between ensuring that businesses, community groups, and event organisers fulfil their duty of care responsibilities, while also acknowledging the importance of personal responsibility of visitors, recreational users, and trespassers.
Minister Fleming said at the time that Minister McEntee was going to prioritise the legislation, however one year later it’s still not drafted. Meanwhile businesses are left to contend with escalating costs due to the cost-of-living crisis and the failure of the government to reform the insurance industry is compounding the extreme pressures businesses are experiencing.
We are as far back as ever. Businesses are facing even bigger increases in their insurance premiums, and again all we have from the government is the vague promise of progress down the line.
This is unacceptable, it is anti-business, and it is anti-community.The government needs to act immediately to alleviate the pressure that their failure to address the legislative requirements necessary to reform the insurance industry continue to place on business owners.”