Can I Claim Compensation if I Catch Covid-19 at Work?

Author:
Nick Harris
Head of Travel Law & Holiday Claims
Date:
23/07/2021

Yes you could, but your solicitor would have to prove that your employer didn’t fulfil their legal duty to protect you whilst you’re at work.

Generally, if you caught Covid at work because your employer didn’t give you adequate protection, your co-workers may also have been infected at work so could also potentially claim compensation.

How much compensation you could claim, would depend on how severe your symptoms are as well as other factors personal to your circumstances.

We have seen that some frontline key workers were not adequately protected by their employers and have been hospitalised as a result, in some cases, they have lost their lives.  

With cases of Covid-19 still on the rise, anyone being asked back into their workplace may have worries and concerns about going back to work, especially knowing that frontline key workers have not been adequately protected by their employers and have contracted Covid as a result.

"We all understand and appreciate that these are unprecedented times, but employers still need to provide adequate protection for people who cannot work from home."

More recently with the influx of people being ‘pinged’ by the NHS track and trace team the government have said that keyworkers will be exempt from this.

On the face of it this could be seen as a positive to keep the country running but in fact this is putting those who have been vital to the running of the country throughout the pandemic at greater risk. We all appreciate that there are certain key services which need to be maintained to keep the status quo but at what risk? This would be the people who we would expect now to have a greater risk of catching the virus. There is also the common misconception that the vaccine stops you getting this virus which is not true. Yes, in some cases it does significantly reduce the effects of the virus but this is not always the case for everyone.

Is it fair that these key workers are placed at a higher risk of being ill, hospitalised or worse and have to suffer as a result? This is not just for the short term but again with Long Covid this could be for a much longer time and have far reaching health and financial implications. 

We all understand and appreciate that these are unprecedented times, but employers still need to provide adequate protection for people who cannot work from home.

Government advice is still that people should work from home where possible, but employers can ask you to come back to your place of work if your job requires it. But if they ask you back into work, they’re legally responsible for keeping you safe and minimising the risk of Covid-19 spreading.

If they don’t have the right safety measures in place, and you end up contracting coronavirus from work, you could be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with our team of Solicitors to see if you’ve got grounds for a claim.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Do Covid Safety Measures need to be in place?

Now Covid restrictions have fully lifted, employers are not legally required to enforce social distancing or face coverings. But employers are still responsible for your health and safety at work and should take reasonable steps to make sure you’ve got what you need to do your job safely.

Your employer also needs to remember that just because restrictions have lifted, employees can still be at risk of catching Covid-19 at work. In light of this, your employer may still choose to keep some Covid safety measures in place to minimise the risk of employees catching the virus.  

Depending on the sector you work in, this may include:

  • Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, gloves and aprons if needed
  • Encouraging social distancing where possible
  • Encouraging employees to wear masks
  • Providing hygiene facilities such as sanitisation stations and hand sanitiser
  • Arranging for the workplace to be cleaned thoroughly and regularly
  • Making sure the workspace is well ventilated

The measures put in place will vary depending on the type of work you do. Your employer should complete a risk assessment based on the requirements and nature of your work.

What if I’m Clinically Vulnerable?

If you’re pregnant or you’ve got an underlying health condition, you might be feeling particularly hesitant about going into work. If you don’t feel safe and you’ve got concerns about catching Covid-19 at work, speak to your employer about concerns to see if you can reach an agreement about how to move forward.

During lockdown, medically vulnerable workers were told to work from home if they could. If your employer ignored government guidance when restrictions were in place by asking you to come into work, and you ended up catching coronavirus, you could be eligible to make a claim.  

Claiming Compensation

If you already think you contracted Covid-19 at work because your employer didn’t put appropriate safety measures in place, get in touch with our Injury Solicitors to see if you can make a claim for compensation.

Generally, if you contracted Covid-19 at work, others would have caught it too so speak to your colleagues.

If your employer asked you to continue coming into work back when Covid restrictions were still in place, despite the government guidance being to work from home where possible, you could make a claim if you and your colleagues ended up contracting Covid-19 during lockdown.

For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Solicitors

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