Can I be sacked for claiming compensation for an accident at work?

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One of the biggest reasons people choose not to claim compensation when they suffer an accident or injury at work is the fear that they could lose their job as a result. Legally if you suffer an accident that was the result of negligence on your employer’s part the law is heavily on your side and you are able to claim for compensation. 

Your employment is protected by law, therefore it is against the law for your employer to threaten your job when you decide to raise a claim for compensation.

The law states that the victim should not be left with financial burdens after suffering an injury from an accident that wasn’t their fault. The Health & Safety law is there to protect employees whilst they are working. Under the Management of Health & Safety Work Regulations 1999, Your employer by law must – 

  • Ensure that you are given an induction and adequate training. 
  • Ensure that all machines and equipment are regularly maintained and that any faults that are raised are dealt with in a timely manner. 
  • Ensure that they provide the correct Personal Protective and Safety equipment. 
  • Ensure that they have the correct staffing levels, that they have First Aid trained members of staff and that everyone is given adequate breaks.

If your employer fails to meet these points and as a result you suffer from an accident or injury they are then held liable. 

Can you be let go from your employment when you choose to raise a claim for compensation? 

The short answer is no. 

Your employment is protected by law, therefore it is against the law for your employer to threaten your job when you decide to raise a claim for compensation. It is also illegal for them to 

  • Bully and harass you.
  • Overlook you for a promotion.
  • Demote you. 

If you did find yourself in a position where your employer dismissed you from your employment, you would then have grounds for unfair dismissal. Even if they do not terminate your employment but proceed to make your work life unbearable, which leads to you feeling like you have no choice but to find alternative employment you would then have grounds to make a claim for constructive dismissal. Your employment rights are protected heavily. 

What happens once the claim has started?

Once you decide to go ahead with your claim your Solicitor will take over all communication with your employer regarding your case.

You may worry your place of employment is not large enough to be able to pay out compensation or that your employer will be “out of pocket.” All employers are required to have insurance in place for any event where an employee raises a claim against them. It is this insurance that will pay out if you win your case, much the same as when you claim against another driver’s insurance following on from a car accident.

Under the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) your employer must report any serious work related accidents and injuries to the Health & Safety Executive. They may also decide to separately prosecute your employer. In these circumstances this case would need to be resolved first before yours can then proceed. 

Although you have three years from the date of the accident to bring forward your claim it is often advised to do this as soon as possible. Some cases can take many months to two years to resolve, so time is of the essence. By speaking to a Solicitor who specialises in workplace accidents and injuries, they will be able to put your mind at rest regarding the status of your employment going forward. 

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