A member's bill which would allow the NHS to recover costs relating to industrial disease has been backed in a stage 1 report by the Scottish Parliament’s Health & Sport Committee.

The Liability for NHS Charges (Treatment of Industrial Disease) (Scotland) Bill, introduced by Stuart McMillan, SNP member for Greenock & Inverclyde, would allow the Scottish Government to recover the cost of NHS treatment from an employer or previous employer whose negligence resulted in an industrial disease.

The committee supports the general aims of the bill, which would extend to cover future COVID-19 related illness and mental health illnesses, but has questions over the administration of the scheme and how NHS costs would be collected from employers. It says the Government and Mr McMillan should work together to obtain more robust information on the financial implications of the bill.

Convener Lewis Macdonald MSP commented: "When employees become ill due to their work, it is expected that their employer will have to compensate them. The spirit of this bill is that it is right that the costs to the health service are also reimbursed.

"The Committee believes this legislation will not only help to reduce industrial diseases but also lessen the financial burden on both taxpayers and NHS. We do however believe there is a need for more clarity on how this scheme will be carried out and how much it will cost."

Click here to view the committee's report.