Employers in the UK have a duty of care to their employees and generally, work hard to provide a safe working environment. However, it is an unfortunate fact that workplace injuries still happen that was caused by an employer’s wrongdoing. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to understand your rights and the responsibilities of your employer before considering a compensation claim.
Seeking Compensation from an Employer
One of the biggest worries is that seeking compensation from an employer may lead to redundancy. It can be an awkward situation in the workplace when someone decides to take action. Employers have been known to pressure their employees to cancel legitimate claims, stating directly or indirectly that their jobs may be in danger. This type of behaviour is illegal and may even add weight to a case.
If a boss or manager does make this clear to you, make sure to store any evidence. During the process of arranging your claim, you may find yourself arranging and documenting evidence against your employer. It is important to read carefully any statements or contracts before signing, and request any changes that differ from the events. Be sure to see a doctor, as they will then have a third-party description of your injuries.
Recovering from a Workplace Injury
As you recover from a workplace injury, you may find that you need time off or a change in role to help with recovery. Your employer must follow certain guidelines to help in this. If you are too injured to attend work, your employer can not threaten or attempt to fire you. An injured worker is an unsafe worker. A doctor can arrange evidence of your recovery if required. Your contract will state whether or not you receive full pay from your employer during this time, but you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
When you do return to work, your employer has a duty to try and accommodate any issues you may have during recovery. If you usually perform heavy labour, this may involve taking on lighter duties such as clerical or organization. While it may be impossible to give you another role, talk to your manager and see what can be arranged.
While it can make for an awkward working environment to pursue a claim against an employer, UK workers are well protected under health and safety rulings. Don’t be ashamed to use these laws, and to speak out if you think something is wrong, as they are there to ensure a safe working environment for everyone.
For more information on work accident claims read more about it here.