Members of the disciplined forces will be eligible for compensation of up to €180,000 in case of death or injury while on duty, under an occupational accident insurance scheme launched on Monday.

Addressing a news conference, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia hailed this initiative as another important measure by the Labour government following the decision to give members of disciplined forces the right to enrol in a trade union.

Dr Farrugia also highlighted the signing of the collective agreement for the police force as another major step forward. He said talks were also under way on a separate agreement incorporating members of the Civil Protection Department, the army and correctional officers.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna remarked that claims filed under this scheme will be handled by a specialised office, and aggrieved employees who are not satisfied with the outcome will be able to appeal.

Prof. Scicluna added that thanks to this initiative, which was listed in the Labour manifesto, employees who are injured or suffer some form of disability will not have to seek redress through court.

Under this scheme the maximum level of compensation will be of €180,000 in case of death. However, workers who suffer some form of permanent disability, will be able to file a claim to cover some of the expenses incurred to improve accessibility at home, such as a stair lift.

The scheme will come into force on May 1.

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