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Cracking down on fake sickness firms

Published: Tue 25 Jul 2017 at 14:53

Updated: Tue 25 Jul 2017 at 15:06


It appears that net is tightening on the fake sickness claims industry, one which thrives on dishonesty. This is great news for British holidaymakers.

Over the weekend it was reported that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has clamped down on cowboy sickness firms, swooping on a number of companies throughout the UK. This comes hot on the heels of the Prime Minister announcing a major crackdown recently.

As a result of the Ministry’s actions, a number of firms have been hit with tough sanctions. The MoJ has issued six warnings, launched two investigations, and shut down the websites of six claims management companies (CMCs).

More than 40 other firms offering no-win, no-fee services were issued with ‘compliance advice’, and the crackdown found 34 unlicensed firms encouraging British holidaymakers to make fake claims.

On top of this, the Ministry of Justice also found evidence of solicitors carrying out malpractice and it has now shared its findings with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

In a separate development, one law firm last week announced that it has dropped 3,500 sickness claims, including roughly 200 against Jet2holidays, as a result of a “seismic change” in its approach.

The Law Room said it stopped taking new holiday sickness claims from mid-2016 after a review of every single case.

We welcome The Law Room’s decision to review all cases in connection with holiday illness claims. The number of cases to be dropped is staggering, and we believe that the legal industry now has an obligation to follow their lead to ensure that fraudulent claims are not being made and that those without merit are not pursued.

All of this comes as figures published in the Mail on Sunday reveal that last summer UK holidaymakers submitted almost 4,000 sickness claims compared with just 114 from Germany. The figures are based on 750,000 British holidaymakers and 800,000 from Germany. Scandinavian holidaymakers submitted 39 claims for 375,000 people.

These figures show why we have been campaigning to highlight the issue so that we can protect British holidaymakers and protect genuine claimants. We hope that Britons have realised this and understand the serious consequences that can arise from committing fraud and risking their personal data. We hope this is the beginning of the end for an industry which profits from dishonesty and deceit.

Whilst the Government’s announcement about a cap on costs recoverable for such claims is certainly a good start, we need this change to be enacted without delay. With Government’s help, we look forward to waving good riddance to the fake sickness fraudsters. We are sure that honest Britons everywhere will join us when we do.

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