Can I be Sacked for Having an Accident at Work?
Find out how much your personal injury claim may be worth
Can I be sacked for having an accident at work?
Strictly speaking, an employer can dismiss an employee for a reason related to their capability or conduct, including having an accident at work, as long as the dismissal is fair and follows a fair procedure. However, the fairness of the dismissal will depend on various factors, such as the circumstances of the accident and the employer’s previous disciplinary procedures and policies.
In matters where an individual’s own misconduct has led to their accident, their employer will be allowed to end their employment. If, however, you suffered an accident that wasn’t your fault employers cannot dismiss you, and you should consider making a compensation claim.
If you have had an accident at work and are considering making an injury at work claim, you may also be wondering; “can I be sacked for having an accident at work and making a claim against my employer?”
If an individual has been forced to suffer injury due to a workplace accident that wasn’t their fault, they should be able to focus solely on their recovery. However, when they have to face threats of being sacked or have actually been sacked, their stress and trauma levels will be increased.
No individual should face such traumatic threats to their financial stability if they have been involved in an accident at work that was not their fault.
If you have been forced to suffer a situation like this, you should speak to a personal injury solicitor and begin taking legal action.
Moreover, if you have been dismissed due to work related injuries or because you have decided to make an accident at work claim, you should speak to an employment law solicitor about making a claim for constructive dismissal or unfair dismissal, depending on the circumstances.
Am I entitled to sick pay following an accident at work?
In England and Wales, some employees may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are unable to work due to an illness or injury, including if the illness or injury was caused by an accident at work. To be eligible for SSP, employees must earn at least the lower earnings limit and have been off work for at least 4 consecutive days (including non-working days). SSP is paid by the employer for up to 28 weeks.
Employers may also offer additional sick pay through a company sick pay scheme, which is separate from SSP. Eligibility and amount of sick pay under these schemes may vary, so it is best to check the specific terms and conditions of the employer’s scheme.
Why can’t my employer sack me after a workplace injury?
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, an employer has safety responsibilities and a duty of care to protect their employees. Employers can now look to the Health and Safety Executive webpage which will highlight regulations that they need to uphold. If they have failed to follow regulations and keep you safe, they should be held responsible for your accident.
If a workplace accident does take place, an employer is required to report the incident under the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations.
If a claim for personal injury against them is successful, an employer will use their insurance company to pay the compensation.
Even in situations when an individual injured at work has been partially responsible for their accident, they could still propose a work compensation claim. However, they would have to prove that the employer’s negligence was the main contributor to the accident. It is likely that the Claimant’s damages would reflect their partial responsibility.
What should I do if I have been dismissed following an accident at work?
There are two legal areas to be analysed when a claim is proposed for unfair dismissal following an accident at work.
Claim for Personal Injury:
If you have been involved in an accident at work, it is very likely that you will have sustained a personal injury. Following an accident, it is vital that medical attention is sought immediately.
In order to propose a personal injury claim, the claimant needs to collect supporting evidence. This may be in the form of photographs of the injury or x-rays. It would also be useful to provide a sketch of the area in which the accident took place, with labels of the equipment which may have been involved. If any colleagues witnessed the accident, a statement should be requested from them. Also, it is imperative that the accident at work was reported in the accident book. When commencing the claim, you should also attempt to find out if any similar accidents have occurred in the workplace.
This evidence will be useful when proving that the accident occurred due to negligence.
In personal injury matters, there is a time limit of three years for individuals over the age of eighteen. This means that your claim for an accident at work has to have either settled or court proceedings been issued within three years. As the claim will be statute barred, you will lose your ability to claim if you do not ensure that these actions have occurred within three years.
The damages for personal injury claims are separated into General Damages and Special Damages. General Damages are dependent on the severity of the injury, the amount of pain and suffering experienced and the loss of amenity that it has caused the individual. Special Damages reflects the financial losses that a claimant has suffered by having to have time off of work. These may include loss of earnings due to the injury, medical fees, parking fees and carer fees. In order to prove that you have experienced financial losses, a record of receipts and bank statements should be kept.
Under Section 94 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, an employer is unable to dismiss their employee unreasonably. Therefore, they must provide adequate information as to why they have sacked their employee. If they fail to provide this information, a claim for unfair dismissal could be brought.
A dismissal is automatically considered as unfair if there have been health and safety concerns or if an individual’s statutory rights have not been upheld. An example of a statutory right is being paid at least the National Minimum Wage.
Subsequent to the dismissal, a record of communications with the employer should be kept.
The damages for an unfair dismissal claim would be based on how long you have worked for the employer, your age when you are dismissed and your weekly pay, prior to tax and national insurance deductions. A compensatory award would also be provided to an individual who has been found to have been unfairly dismissed. This would compensate for money which has been lost as a result of the dismissal.
An individual has three months from the dismissal, less one day, to commence the process for an unfair dismissal claim. Therefore, it is important to seek legal advice promptly following a dismissal which was not supported by valid reasons.
How much does it cost to bring a claim for compensation?
At Beacon Law, our claims operate on a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. This means that if you do not win your claim, we will not require any payment. Alternatively, if have a successful claim, we will take a small success fee from your compensation. This will be utilized to cover the costs of conducting your claim.
In matters when an individual has a trade union membership, they may not be required to enter into the agreement and their union may fund their personal injury claim.
How long will it take to settle a claim for compensation due to a workplace accident?
We cannot provide a definitive time frame that your claim will be concluded within. Nevertheless, our team of experts work tirelessly to ensure that our cases settle swiftly, allowing our clients to put the trauma behind them.
In cases where an employer accepts liability for an accident at work, we aim to settle the matter within 6-9 months. Though, the process is not always predictable and certain situations may arise which delay settlement. This may include an unresponsive defendant or difficulties in obtaining evidence.
Can I be sacked for having an accident at work and making a claim?
When people consider pursuing a personal injury claim against their employer, they are often worried that the claim will lead to their employment being terminated. We can assure you that your employer is not legally permitted to terminate your employment or abuse you just because you have decided to make a claim against them.
Why choose Beacon Law?
The team at Beacon Law are highly skilled in this area and completely understand the stress and upset that an injury at work and risk of losing your job can cause. Although we do not provide employment law services, we can assist you through the process of making a personal injury claim against your employer. If you have been dismissed after an accident at work, we can point you in the direction of a suitable law form to deal with your employment claim.
Our legal professionals can be on hand to explain everything to you, as the legal jargon used can often be quite confusing. Furthermore, we can guide you through the claim process, alleviating any of the stress that may be caused otherwise.
If you have suffered an accident at work that was not your fault, please use our contact details to get in touch for free legal advice on making a claim. We can be contacted at 0330 1332 857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.