ABSTRACT

FOR the purposes of this part of the study a distinction will be drawn between employers' liability for accidents that were due to the employers' negligence, the subject of Part III, and the compensation a workman could claim because he had suffered injury. In 'employers' liability' the injured man or his relatives had to prove negligence by the employer. In 'workmen's compensation' the criterion was injury (or disease or death). Thus, though the Employers' Liability Act of 1880 was a forerunner of the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1897, it was based on a different principle, and one much less advantageous to the workman. People grew increasingly discontented with it, and finally found spokesmen in Mr. Asquith and Mr. Joseph Chamberlain to press Parliament for change. An abortive Bill was introduced in 1893, and after the general election of 1895, legislation was assured. Prior to this time there had been two views about what to do. On the one hand, the advocates of prevention wished so to burden the employer with his liability, in cases of accident, that he would have a direct financial incentive to improve the safety of his works and lessen the possible risks. The compensationists, on the other hand, preferred to concentrate on the injured man himself, and assure him of adequate relief when he needed it. The compensationists prevailed, and the legislation veered towards relief of the injured rather than promotion of safety, thus

Statutory System of Benefit jor IndustrialI,!jury and Disease stamping inexorably on the British system the separation between these two aspects.