Can I Be Fired for Making an Accident at Work Claim?
No. Employers in England and Wales do not have any legal right to terminate your employment purely because you are claiming compensation for an accident at work.
Generally speaking, most employers are empathetic and may even accept fault either in part or in full for your accident. This usually happens if you have suffered serious injury or loss at their hands and this is always the case irrespective of the relationship you may have with your employer.
It’s important to stress that if you’re fired from your job for poor punctuality or attendance irrespective of your injury, you may find it difficult to bring a legitimate claim forward. If you are successful in proving that you had an accident at work due to negligence by your employer, then by law you cannot be dismissed from your job by simply making a claim for your injury, pain and suffering or financial loss of earnings past and present.
If your employer dismisses you for making a personal injury claim for suffering an injury at work, it’s likely that your dismissal will be unfair, and you’d be entitled to make an unfair dismissal claim under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
You may also be able to bring a further claim linked to your dismissal for detriment suffered for making a health and safety-related disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. This is an important distinction to make, as you can make a claim under this legislation without having 2 years’ continuous service, which is normally required for most types of unfair dismissal claims.
You may think that you have no other choice but to leave your job if you are being made to feel uncomfortable for making an accident at work claim. This would amount to what is called “constructive dismissal”.
Your legal rights as an employee remain the same regardless of whether you are making a claim for personal injury compensation. Our Employment Solicitors have in-depth experience and knowledge of dealing with dismissal cases and have provided a most favourable outcomes for many clients.
So, if you feel as though your employee status is being threatened or abused in any way by your employer, you may also bring a second claim against them for constructive dismissal.
Your Statutory Rights as an Employee
In addition to the above, if you’re claiming compensation for a personal Injury sustained in the workplace, your employer has a responsibility to make “reasonable adjustments” for you, the employee, under the Equality Act 2010. This is yet another statutory right that you hold as an employee, assuming you have worked for your current employer for a year or more.
Accident at Work Claims
Under UK law, employers have a duty of care to look after their employees’ health and safety according to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This covers a multitude of duties, which include:
- Carrying out the necessary safety checks and risk assessments
- Providing the correct equipment to protect employees from harm
- Ensuring all employees have had the necessary guidance and training, especially when working with dangerous materials or machinery, in order to mitigate the effects of any potential hazards or injury
If your employer abides by Health and Safety regulations, they’ll already have an Accident Report Book in place. If this is the case, they’ll already be aware of the potential allegations they may face before you bring your case forward.
Equally, if an Accident Report Book exists at your place of work, it may be the case that previous employees have also reported similar accidents in the past, in which case your employers would have had no excuse but to act upon such hazards to ensure that no such accidents occur again.
So, where duty by your employer has been breached and you’ve suffered an accident or injury as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. There are, of course, many variables involved and so you must be able to prove that your injury was directly caused by the negligence of your employer.
Who Will Know about my Claim?
Your employer should hold Employer’s Liability Insurance, which means that on most occasions, your Personal Injury Solicitor will deal with the employer’s insurers rather than the company itself. Any sensible and respectable employer will realise that work accident claims are not personal and would support you in your recovery and rehabilitation.
For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Solicitors
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