Obtaining a work record is often an essential part of a fatal/industrial disease claim. Recently there have been difficulties because HMRC have refused to disclose records without a Court Order. This matter is noted in the latest Association of Personal Injury Lawyer Weekly News. There is a judicial review pending.
THE TEXT FROM APIL
“An issue causing serious problems for APIL members who conduct claims on behalf of deceased claimants looks set for a judicial review.
Before the Christmas break, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stopped issuing work histories for deceased claimants unless it was ordered to do so by the court. This created a stand-off situation for deceased claims as, without the work history, it is not possible to bring proceedings and, without proceedings, a court order to obtain the work history cannot be obtained.
In a further development, Liverpool coroner André Rebello, has issued a notice under paragraph 1, schedule 5 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, requiring HMRC to produce a work history in connection with an inquest he has been conducting.
HMRC takes the view that this notice is not binding on it and it will only issue work histories with an order from the High Court (a further refinement of its policy change). In addition it has issued judicial review proceedings against the Lord Chancellor, asking the Administrative Court to quash the schedule 5 notices.
The coroner’s notice would be a good short term solution to the problem and APIL has been in contact with solicitors representing HMRC and the Lord Chancellor in the potential judicial review”