Accidents At Work Guide

What Are My Rights After An Accident At Work?

There are many legal checks in place to make sure you’re protected if you make a workplace injury claim. Having represented thousands of people in workplace accident cases, we’re experienced at defending employment rights and making sure you’re treated fairly.

Can I Be Dismissed If My Injuries Prevent Me From Doing My Job?

Employers must be tolerant of absence when they’ve caused your injury, or if you’re a long-serving member of staff.

Although there aren’t any hard and fast rules on how long you have to be off sick before your employer can consider dismissal on capability grounds, there are laws to protect you from being treated unfairly as a result of your injury.

If you’ve been absent for a long period of time due to your injury, you should only be dismissed as a last resort, once all other options have been considered. Before dismissing you, your employer will be expected to:

  • Find out more about your condition (by speaking to your doctor or an occupational health
  • Give you the chance to appeal against your dismissal

If your injury is classed as a disability, you may be protected by discrimination legislation. A disability is defined as a physical or mental condition which has a long-term and substantial effect on your ability to carry out day to day activities. Long-term means that it is expected to last for at least 12 months and day-to-day activities include walking, getting dressed etc. Broken bones usually heal within a matter of months, and unless there are on-going complications, these types of injuries will not normally count as a disability.

If your injury does amount to a disability, your employer will need to take some additional steps to avoid discriminating against you. This is likely to include getting medical advice as to when and if you can return to work and considering whether any reasonable adjustments could be made to help you get back to work, such as:

  • Undertaking lighter duties
  • A different role
  • Flexible working
  • Making adaptations to the workplace
  • Providing specialised equipment

If you’re worried that your employer isn’t acting legally, we can advise you on your rights. We have a dedicated team of employment lawyers who specialise in helping people with employment disputes. We’ll give you clear advice and can offer expert representation if necessary.

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Can I Be Dismissed While My Compensation Claim Is On-Going?

It’s very rare that people are sacked during a compensation claim. Your employer cannot dismiss you simply because you’re making a claim.

Your employer will be expected to go through the steps set out above before dismissal. If they don’t, you may be able to claim unfair dismissal (you will need at least one year and 51 weeks’ service to do this). If your injury amounts to a disability you may also be able to bring a disability discrimination claim (it doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked in your position).

Our Employment team can represent you in disputes relating to unfair dismissal or discrimination, offering straightforward advice that puts your rights at the forefront of the case. We have years of experience helping people in similar situations, so we’re well-placed to make sure your rights are respected.

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What If I Feel Like I Am Being Bullied Or Discriminated Against Because Of My Accident?

You shouldn’t be bullied or suffer discrimination by bringing a claim for an accident at work. If this happens, you can raise a formal grievance setting out what has happened and asking your employer to investigate your complaints.

Your employer should have a grievance policy and may also have a policy dealing with absence or discrimination. These may be included in a staff handbook. If you don’t know where to find these, ask your employer.

If having investigated your complaint, your employer does not take steps to prevent you from being bullied or to stop any discrimination, you may be able to bring a separate employment claim. There are strict time limits that apply in the employment tribunal and most claims must be issued within three months of the incident (or the last incident if there are more than one).

Our employment lawyers provide guidance and support through every stage of a discrimination claim. Not all claims go to tribunal, but if yours does we’ll use our years of experience to support you throughout the process. Please phone us on 0370 1500 100 for more information.

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What If I Have Been Denied A Promotion, Or Demoted As A Result Of My Accident?

You shouldn’t be treated badly simply because you have made a claim for compensation against your employer. If you think you’ve missed out on a promotion or been demoted because of your claim, you should put your concerns in writing to your employer and ask them for an explanation.

If your employer doesn’t address these concerns, contact our employment lawyers for expert advice on your situation. We can give you practical advice on what to do and, if necessary, represent you in an employment tribunal.

If your injury amounts to a disability and you’ve been denied a promotion, you may also be able to bring a claim for discrimination. We can advise you on your rights in these circumstances, having helped many people who have suffered serious injuries in workplace accidents.

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Making A Workplace Accident Claim

If you have any doubts about making a personal injury claim, please get in touch with one of our legal advisers on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online. We offer expertise not only in workplace injury claims, but also employment law – our team can advise you on all aspects of your case, making sure that you’re treated fairly.

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