Compensation Culture and the apparent, yet none existant litigeous culture….
The Compensation Act was passed on July 25 2006 to combat this compensation perception issue. Judges now may to take into account the wider issues of society when finding fault or blame in compensation cases.
In particular the idea of guilty before being found innocent which occurs when public sector [teachers, police, youth workers, hospital workers] are removed from active duty not only until a case is subject to court, but even whist it is being considered….this can be months and years – only for a not guilty judgement to be found. The ensuing damage to professional sef-esteem is traumatic.
It is due to the fear of all this happening that the national goodwill of volunteering and initiative taking is being withdrawn.
The UK has great traditions of volunteering. This volunteering comprises two key donations:
a. People offering their time for free either through structured organisations such as charities or through local clubs and community activities
b. People who, although in paid roles, take initiatives to extend the delivery of their work, by undertaking activities which are in addition to their role. This extends past what they are expected to do and includes taking opportunistic risks, e.g. changing ways things are done, short-circuiting bureaucracy, making savings, doing more than they need to.
In the former – group a – the fear of litigation prevents people even taking up volunteering opportunities – less sports leaders, trustees, helpers in neighbourhoods, police, et seq.
In the latter – group b – stuck middle managers with great risk aversion, teachers [although there are many thousands who still do so much] reluctant or refusing, even on the instructions of their unions, to undertake out of school (even in school) additional activities (dumbing down science?). Of course covering one’s back with huge mountains of paperwork on risk assessments (excuses not to do things?) is a great smoke-screen, disguising managerial risk-aversion.
This giving of time is a massive injection of national capital which helps our society work, provides the place for people to feel good about themselves and supports a great feeling of place and belonging in our increasingly status-bankrupt society, a sure root of delinquency, stress and depression.