[holding answer 8 June 2006]: The Department has Claims Handling Agreements (CHAs) with the Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM)/ Vendside for processing vibration white finger and respiratory disease claims. The Department has a further agreement with the UDM for handling hearing loss claims.
We have also received a few claims from other claims handlers which have been handled under the terms of the CHA for claims submitted by solicitors.
[holding answer 12 June 2006]: No such procedure has been established. The majority of claims handled by claims handlers are processed in accordance with a Claims Handling Agreement agreed between the Department and the Union of Democratic Mineworkers/Vendside Ltd. We have also received a few other claims from claims handlers which are processed under the terms of the Claims Handling Agreement agreed with solicitors.
Claimants who are unhappy with their representation are free to transfer their claim to an alternative representative. The Compensation Bill currently progressing through Parliament will introduce a regulatory framework for claims handlers.