New laws to support volunteers and community heroes

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The Ministry of Justice has announced that law changes designed to support good Samaritans and community heroes have moved a step forward. The government’s Social Action Responsibility and Heroism (SARAH) Bill is currently being considered by Parliament.  It has completed the House of Commons stages and will now move to the House of Lords for consideration.

The aim of the Bill is to ensure people are not put off doing good deeds because they are concerned about risk and liability if something goes wrong.  It is intended to cover situations such as leading a school trip, organising a village fete, clearing snow from a path in front of your home or helping in an emergency situation.

The reforms will mean that if a person has been acting for the benefit of society, intervening to help somebody in an emergency or demonstrating a generally responsible approach towards safety during an activity, the court will take a full and sympathetic account of their actions in the event something goes wrong and they are sued.

Measures to be brought in will also put the law more clearly on the side of employers who do the right thing to protect employees if something does go wrong through no fault of their own.

For more information, please see the government's fact sheet on the Bill.