The Department for Work and Pensions has published a consultation entitled, "Accessing Compensation: Supporting people who need to trace Employers' Liability Insurance." The consultation makes two key proposals. First, that an Employers' Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) be created; and, second, that an Employers' Liability Insurance Bureau (ELIB) be created.

The ELTO would manage an electronic database of employers' liability (EL) policies. It is proposed that EL providers would be obliged to provide the ELTO with information about the policies they have written. The hope is that, over time, the ELTO would have a comprehensive collection of the EL policies written. It is worth noting that the consultation also proposes that insurers themselves could use the ELTO in order to trace other insurers on risk in contribution cases such as those arising out of mesothelioma claims.

In addition to the ELTO the consultation paper also proposes the creation of the ELIB. The ELIB is described as "a compensation fund of last resort and would ensure that some individuals who are unable to trace EL insurance records would receive compensation." In this way, the proposals aim to provide compensation to the many former employees that are currently unable to claim any compensation.

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers has publicly backed the consultation's proposals. However, the Association of British Insurers has voiced concerns over the potential financial burden placed on current employers to fund the proposed ELIB.

The consultation will run until 5 May 2010. If you would like to read the consultation paper and/or respond to it please use the following link: Accessing Compensation – Supporting people who need to trace Employers’ Liability Insurance – public consultation - DWP.