Accidents at work can have consequences that reach outside the walls of your workplace. If an injury at work has left you out of action, you have a right not to be left out of pocket too.
Any time you cannot work due to an accident in the workplace, you'll be paid statutory sick pay. This is worth £95.85 per week and you're entitled to it for up to 28 weeks. Some employers choose to pay their own additional sick pay.
It can be hard to know what to do next if you’ve been injured at work, especially if it wasn't your fault.
This guide will cover your rights in the workplace, what payments you may be entitled to and the procedure you must follow to make a personal injury claim.
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Depending on the severity of the injury, the circumstances that caused it and also the specific policies of your workplace, you may be entitled to a few different payments.
If you’re an employee or agency worker and you have to take more than four consecutive days off work, you’ll likely be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay. SSP is £95.85 per week at the time of writing, and can be claimed for up to 28 weeks after your accident.
Some workplaces have sick pay clauses written into contracts that pay out more than SSP does. Check your contract or employee handbook if you’re unsure if this applies to you.
Be aware that your employer will likely have rules you must follow to be paid this. These rules will likely involve communicating when you must tell your workplace that you are sick (you must check-in weekly every Monday, for example) and what information you must disclose to them about your illness or injury. These rules must be communicated to you.
If you can’t be paid any contractual or statutory sick pay, you may be able to claim Universal Credit or another benefit. If you already get certain benefits such as tax credits, you may be entitled to more money while your pay is less than usual. It’s always worth checking the eligibility criteria for these to see if you can get any extra help while you’re unable to work.
Your employer has a legal responsibility to keep you safe at work. If you feel they haven’t kept this end of the bargain and you’ve been injured, you may have a claim on your hands.
If you want to take things further and make a claim for compensation for loss or damages as a result of your accident, you need to be able to prove that your injuries were caused due to an accident at work and that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence.
Depending on the severity of the injury and the amount of impact it has on your day-to-day life, personal injury compensation claims can run into the many thousands of pounds. Check out common accident at work compensation examples for more information.
However, not all accidents and injuries at work are eligible for a payout. For example, if you accidentally slipped on a wet floor in the office because you weren’t paying attention to warning signs, you’re unlikely to be able to claim that a third party was negligent in any way.
It’s important to follow the correct accident at work procedure after the accident happens to give yourself the best chance of getting paid.
The steps you should follow are:
Get yourself medical attention if you need it and go to see a GP even if you don’t think the accident was anything serious. This adds the injury to your medical records and is solid evidence to rely on in legal proceedings if you do decide to make a personal injury claim.
Immediately after the accident, tell your manager or a supervisor what happened. They should create a written report of the accident in your workplace’s accident book - you’re well within your rights to check this has been done correctly.
This protects your rights by making sure your employer can’t deny knowing about what happened if the law has to get involved.
Even with a written entry in an accident book, it doesn’t hurt to do your own preparations. Take photographic evidence of where the accident happened, what caused it and of your injuries (before medical attention) if you can - if you can’t, ask a colleague to do it for you.
It’s also a good idea to write down your own record of what happened. Do this as soon as you reasonably can after the accident. Remember: don’t scrimp on the details, but keep everything accurate. Don’t lie or embellish your statement as you may get caught out.
If anyone else saw what happened, see if you can get a witness statement from them. At the very least, take note of their name and contact details. Impartial witness statements can strengthen your personal injury claim and help make sure you are paid what you are owed.
In short, no. Not if you meet the eligibility criteria for at least SSP. If your employer refuses to pay you sick pay because you are unable to do your job, you should ask them to explain the reason why they have declined.
You may also want to speak to your trade union (if you are a member of one) for advice on what to do next, as it’s possible that your employer would be breaking the law by refusing to pay you. They also are not able to sack you on the basis of making a claim against them. If you feel you’ve been treated or dismissed unfairly by your employer, seek legal advice.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Personal Injury Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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