The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (Levy) Regulations 2014 require active insurers to pay an annual levy based on their relative market share for the purpose of meeting the costs of the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS). This is in line with the commitment by the insurance industry to fund a scheme of last resort for sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma who have been unable to trace their employer or their employer’s insurer.
It has been announced that the total amount of the levy to be charged for 2015/16, the second year of the DMPS, is £23.2m. It is estimated that the full cost of the scheme in 2015/16 will be £31m, but, as the amount levied in 2014/15 was greater than the final cost of the scheme for that year, £7.8m has been carried forward into 2015/16. The £23.2m will be payable by active insurers by the end of March 2016.
Individual active insurers will be notified in writing of their payment amount (i.e. their share of the levy), together with how the amount was calculated and payment arrangements. Insurers should be aware that it is a legal requirement to pay the levy within the set timescales.
The first Annual Report for the scheme was published in November 2015 and is available on the gov.uk website.
Following the announcement TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said, “We are very disappointed that the mesothelioma levy is being reduced. Asbestos is the UK’s biggest workplace killer. Around 5,000 people die each year from mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer – 13 people for every day of the year. The government should maintain the levy at last year’s level and use any surplus to extend the compensation scheme to all victims of asbestos or for research into treatment.”