Fear of liability is limiting the number of people who will allow sport and recreation activities to take place on their land. This has been recognised by Lord Hodgson and Lord Young in their reviews of volunteering and health and safety legislation.
Positive steps must be taken to remove the prevailing health and safety culture if sports clubs are to attract more volunteers and participants. It is necessary to highlight positive legal cases and legislation, work with insurance companies to limit costs and produce positive guidance in cooperation with stakeholders.
- Access Land, Coastal Access and the Compensation Act recognise the predominance of personal responsibility over the blame culture.
- Fear of litigation was recognised as a barrier to volunteering in reports by Lord Hodgson and Lord Young.
- The rise of ‘no win, no fee’ organisations is believed to encourage liability claims.
- The Government has promised to remove the health and safety culture and implement recommendations, including:
- Limiting ‘no win, no fee’
- Creating an insurance liaison group
- The Insurance Liaison Group aims to increase cooperation and understanding between the voluntary sector and the insurance industry.
- The Alliance, in partnership with the Insurance Liaison Group, will produce a ‘Liability Code’ for those involved in the management of informal recreation activities.
- NGBs should continue to maintain high standards to ensure confidence amongst volunteers.
- Parliamentarians should communicate positive messages about volunteering to their local clubs.
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