Being involved in an accident at work can mean you are unable to work whether for a short amount of time or more long-term. Many people ask the question “do I still get paid if I am injured at work?” and the answer is that providing you took the necessary steps following an incident to prove your claim, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer and you would be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). It is also worth noting and if it is written into your contract of employment, your employer may have to pay you extra sick pay following an accident at work that prevents you from working too.
The Procedure to Follow After an Accident at Work
If you suffer an injury as a result of an accident at work, there is a procedure that you should follow to prove and strengthen your case which is detailed below:
- Report the accident as soon as possible
- Seek medical attention as a matter of urgency
- Make sure the incident is recorded in the company’s Accident Report Book – if the company does not have one, you should write down all the details of the accident and your injuries and make sure your employer receives one copy and that you keep a copy for your own records
- If your injuries are so severe that it prevents you from reporting the incident or making sure that it is noted in the Accident Report Book, you should ensure someone else does this for you
- Establish that the accident has been reported to the necessary authority if required
All of the above is necessary to prove your case and to ensure that you receive any benefits you may be entitled to as well as the SSP and any other sick pay that is written into your contract of employment.
Your Employer’s Duty of Care Defined
All employers in the UK have a “duty of care” towards their employees which in short, means they must take steps to identify risks and hazards in the workplace and set in place measures to keep you safe from being injured whether it involves physical or psychological harm. This must not just be seen as a “legal obligation” but rather a way to build up trust and confidence in the workplace between an employer and their staff.
Your employer’s legal responsibilities towards you and other employees are detailed below:
- That all jobs an employee is tasked to do are clearly defined
- To carry out regular risk assessments with the end goal being to identify hazards in the workplace
- To set in place necessary measures to ensure the workplace in safe
- To provide all employees with sufficient training to carry out the jobs they are tasked to do
- To provide regular feedback on employees performance
- To ensure that employees are not tasked to work excessive hours
- To provide adequate, clean and tidy rest and relaxation areas
- To protect employees from any sort of harassment, bullying or unfair treatment by work colleagues or other people in the workplace
- To protect all employees from any sort of discrimination in a working environment
- To protect adequate communication channels for all employees so they can raise any concerns they have fairly
- To discuss any issues with employees
Should your employer fail in any of the above, it could be seen that they failed in their “duty” and as such, you could file for compensation, be paid SSP and any other benefits you may be entitled to.
The payments you may be entitled to receive are detailed below:
- Following an accident at work that leaves you injured and you have to have time off work, you should be entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
- If it is written into your contract of employment, you may be entitled to receive extra sick pay from your employer following an injury in the workplace that prevents you from working
- If your injuries are severe, you may also be entitled to claim benefits an example being Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
Providing you can prove the accident at work that left you injured occurred through no fault of your own or if you were partly responsible, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against a negligent employer while at the same time receive any moneys you are entitled to because you are unable to work.
How to Check if You Are Entitled to Sick Pay Following an Accident at Work
If you are an “employee” but not self-employed, and you suffered a work-related injury or illness, under UK law you are entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) providing you meet the following criteria:
- You began working for your employer
- You take 4 full sick days or more off work in a row which includes any non-working days
- Your average wage is a minimum of £116 per week – this is before tax
- You do not fall into one of the non-eligible categories
- You followed your employer’s rules for receiving sick pay
It is worth noting that if you work part-time, under a fixed contract, are a casual or agency worker, you would still be entitled to be paid following an accident at work that left you injured and unable to work. The same is true if your contract is “zero hours”.
Should an employer refuse to pay you sick pay because you are unable to carry out your job, you should ask them to explain the reason why you have been turned down before seeking legal advice. If you are unhappy with the answer you are given or feel you are being treated unfairly, are fired or disciplined because you requested sick pay from your employer, you can begin legal proceedings against your employer.
How Much SSP Might I Get Following an Accident at Work?
If you are unable to work because you suffered a work-related injury, you could receive the following Statutory Sick Pay (SSP):
- £92.05 a week – which you could receive for up to 28 weeks if you are unable to work following a work-related injury. However, your employer might choose to pay you more, but they cannot pay you any less than this amount. You should read through your contract of employment to see if your employer has agreed to pay you what is referred to as “contractual sick pay”
If you do not have a contract of employment, you should check the company’s staff handbook.
What Happens if My Employer Refuses to Pay me Sick Pay?
If your employer refuses to pay you any money following an accident at work that prevented you from working, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible bearing in mind that there are specific reasons why you may not be entitled to receive SSP which are detailed below:
- You are self-employed
- You have received SSP for 28 weeks within the last eight weeks
- Received Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) within the last twelve weeks
- You are receiving statutory Maternity Allowance or maternity pay
- You are pregnant and your child is due in four weeks or less and the reason you are off work is pregnancy-related
- You gave birth to a baby in the last 14 weeks (this could be the last 18 weeks if your child was born over four weeks early)
- You are in the armed forces
- You have been detained by the police or you are in prison
- You are an agricultural worker
When Could I Be Entitled to Receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit?
Should you develop an illness or disease in the workplace or you are disabled following an work-related accident, you may be entitled to receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) which is as follows:
- Your illness/disease/disability occurred at work
- You were on an “approved” training course or scheme
The amount you may be entitled to receive would depend on the severity and complexity or your case. It is also worth noting that a “carer” could be entitled to receive a “Carer’s Allowance” for looking after you.
Your disability would be assessed by a “medical adviser” which they would do on a scale of 1% to 100%. You would only be entitled to receive disability benefits if you meet a specific percentage which is 14% or higher. Examples of the amounts you may receive are detailed below bearing in mind that these figures are guidelines only:
- 100% – you may receive £174.80
- 90% – you may receive £157.32
- 80% – you may receive £139.84
- 70% – you may receive £122.36
- 60% – you may receive £104.88
- 50% – you may receive £87.40
- 40% – you may receive £69.92
- 30% – you may receive £52.44
- 20% – you may receive £34.96
You would only be eligible to receive IIDB for the following reasons:
- You suffered an accident at work that left you injured
- You were taking part on an “approved employment” training course or scheme when the incident occurred
- Your accident occurred in the workplace in England, Scotland and Wales
- You developed a disease or illness at work or when you were taking part on an “approved employment” training course or scheme
It is also worth noting that you would not be entitled to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit if you are self-employed.
Seeking Legal Advice on Your Sick Pay Entitlement
If you feel you are being treated unfairly by an employer who is refusing to pay you any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), you should seek legal advice as early as possible so you are not put in any sort of financial difficulties following an accident at work that prevented you from working even if this is for a shorter period of time. A solicitor who specialises in employment law would be in a position to offer essential advice on how best to proceed so that you receive the sick pay you may be entitled to.
Working with a Solicitor on a No Win No Fee Basis
A solicitor who specialises in employment law would assess your case which they would typically do during a free, no obligation initial consultation. Once they have established that you are entitled to SSP and other benefits and believe that you have a strong case against your employer who refuses to pay sick pay, has treated you unfairly or sacked you for requesting they do, the solicitor would work with you on a No Win No Fee basis which means you would not have to find the funds to pay for legal representation.
You would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) which sets out the Terms and Conditions of the agreement together with the percentage you would pay but only if your claim is successful. This is often referred to as a “success fee” because should your case not be successful, there would be nothing to pay for the legal representation you received when suing an employer for non-payment of sick pay which you could be entitled to.