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It was not so long ago that the UK Government was declaring that “We are leading the world in preparing for autonomous vehicles”, but does that declaration still hold up to scrutiny?
The statistics prior to the Covid-19 pandemic indicated a significant increase in mental ill health, with one in four adults experiencing mental illness in each given year. We have seen a particular increase in women presenting with mental illness. However, suicide is far more common in men and is in fact the biggest killer in men up to age 45 in the UK. According to NHS England, mental health problems are the largest single cause of disability in the UK. Those living in poverty, the unemployed and ethnic minorities are thought to be disproportionately affected by mental ill health. We don’t know what the long-term effect of the pandemic will be on the population in terms of mental health issues, but it is likely to be significant.
In early 2021, the prevalence of sexual abuse and harassment in schools was highlighted through thousands of allegations made on the website ‘Everyone’s Invited’. To date, over 51,000 anonymous testimonies have been published on the website. A great number of these refer to abuse in schools, with a particular emphasis on peer-on-peer abuse in schools.
A final decision announced on 12 July means that businesses potentially won’t have long to wait before legal restrictions designed to protect against the spread of Covid are lifted. But assuming that the measures may no longer be legal requirements, with some perhaps downgraded to mere guidance and some completely abandoned on 19 July, what (if any) precautions should businesses keep in place, even if they are not expressly required to do so?
The contentious issue of accidents on Smart Motorways continues to rumble on. In January, Natalie Dawes updated clients with the latest information after comments from Coroner, David Urpeth, brought the argument of the safety of Smart Motorways back to the media. Since then, a number of further reports and comments have been published over the last few months, which Craig Withington summarises before looking at the implications for claims arising from such accidents.
The VNUK ruling and the decision in Motor Insurers’ Bureau v Lewis  EWCA Civ 909 which followed it, created a previously unfunded pool of cases which insurers have to meet indirectly via the MIB levy – causing a knock-on financial impact to premium-paying consumers. This financial impact was previously estimated by Government to be around £50 per motor insurance policy - should the impact of VNUK be fully implemented to UK law.