The TUC last week welcomed the introduction of measures for workers suffering from asbestos-related diseases, but criticised the Government’s decision not to reintroduce compensation for those who are diagnosed with pleural plaques.

Commenting on the decision, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Although the decision to make payments to people with pleural plaques who had put in claims before the House of Lords judgement in 2007 is welcome, we are disappointed the Government hasn’t chosen to reverse the ruling.

‘However the other measures announced will be of real benefit to those who develop a disease as a result of exposure to asbestos. Proposals for the better tracing of insurers, extra financial support for those with mesothelioma and the commitment to increased funding for research into asbestos-related diseases will help make a real difference.

‘And the creation of an Employers’ Liability Insurance Bureau – announced earlier this month – will mean all those who contract an asbestos-related disease as a result of their employers’ negligence will be able to get the compensation they are entitled to, even where they cannot trace their former employers’ insurer.

‘But despite the good news, the decision not to compensate those with future claims for pleural plaques by not reversing the House of Lords decision which ended compensation payouts will be a blow to the many workers who have been exposed to asbestos in the past. We will continue to campaign for a change in the law.’