Can I Be Sacked After An Injury At Work?
By Meg Berry. Last updated 18th January 2022. Can you be sacked after an injury at work? This worrying question may be the last thing you want to consider after being hurt in a workplace accident, but it’s a real concern for many. You may be reading this because you were dismissed after an injury and we understand you may be feeling frustrated.
In this article, we explain the law around being fired for a workplace accident and what steps you could take to receive compensation within the personal injury claims time limits.
We also discuss in detail the options available to you after being sacked or threatened with dismissal for an accident that wasn’t your fault. In particular, we look at the concerns you may have about filing a claim against your employer.
After examining what your overall compensation package may comprise, we’ll show you how to connect with our panel of No Win No Fee lawyers who could help. You may be ready to start a claim right now, or if you would prefer to chat over what happened before deciding to sue your employer, speak to our friendly team in complete confidentiality on:
- Telephone — 020 3870 4868
- Contact us by filling out our online claim form
- Use the ‘live support’ option in the bottom right of this page
Explore The Sections Below To Find Out What To Do If You Were Sacked After An Injury At Work
- What Is An Accident Or Injury At Work?
- When Could You Make An Injury At Work Claim Against An Employer?
- What Are Your Rights In The Workplace?
- Injury At Work Compensation Calculator
- How Do Injury Claims Affect Employer-Employee Relations?
- Could You Be Sacked After An Injury At Work?
- I Was Sacked After An Injury At Work, What Should I Do?
- Claim Against Your Employer On A No Win No Fee Basis
- Other Information
There are countless examples of workplace injuries and accidents. It could be something as simple as sustaining a minor head injury after tripping over cables that are hazardously exposed. Alternatively, an accident at work could involve suffering from a broken jaw after slipping on a wet floor because no wet floor sign was put out.
To safeguard against risks across different workplaces, under Section 2 of the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA), UK employers must do everything they reasonably can to protect employees experiencing harm. For instance, they must:
- Provide adequate training
- Carry out regular risk assessments and act upon any hazards they find
- Ensure all employees have a clear awareness of procedures and safety protocols
It is your employer’s legal duty to uphold these laws. Failing to do so could result in various types of injuries. An injury sustained at work could be anything from a slight graze to a fatality.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 142 workers lost their lives during 2020/2021. Additionally, there were 51,211 injuries to employees reported under the Reporting of Diseases, Injuries and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) during the same period.
The injuries reported varied in nature and severity, however, the figures give an insight into how frequently accidents at work occurred during 2020/2021.
Generally, if you experienced physical or psychological harm in an accident caused by your employer’s failure to uphold the duty of care they owed you, you may be eligible to claim.
Below, we have included some specific accident scenarios in which your employer could be liable:
- You may have sustained a fractured eye socket after your employer failed to keep stock in the warehouse safely organised. As a result, the stock may have fallen on you and caused you harm.
- Your employer may have failed to maintain the tools and machinery necessary to do your job. As a result, you may have experienced a deep laceration in your hand.
- Another employee may have discriminated against you causing you psychological harm despite your employer being made aware and failing to take action.
- Your employer may have failed to provide you with personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely handle toxic materials. As a result, you may have developed occupational asthma or another industrial disease.
If you have experienced something similar and wish to claim, you may need to provide evidence in the form of an accident report, medical assessments and witness statements from other colleagues.
A No Win No Fee personal injury lawyer from our panel could assist you with constructing a strong case against your employer.
All you have to do is understand that it is illegal for you to be penalised in any way for doing this. Legally, you cannot lose your job over a claim for compensation for an accident that was caused by your employer’s negligence.
However, if you were sacked after an injury at work for seeking compensation, you could make an unfair dismissal claim. Call our team for more information.
As per the HASAWA. all employers have a legal responsibility to protect your safety in the workplace by taking reasonable action to prevent an accident from occurring. Additionally, other key pieces of legislation outline your rights in the workplace:
- The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 – this law relates to the standard of the workplace. The fire exits, emergency routes, security, thermal insulation and first aid provision.
- The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 – this relates to safety with screen use and time spent working on computers, laptops etc.
- The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 – sets out the responsibilities of employers to provide proper protective equipment as required for your job.
- The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 – outlines risk assessments required for pushing, pulling and carrying at work safely and legally.
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 – these duties are for people and companies who operate or control their own work equipment to do so within health and safety laws.
Please note, some of these acts have since been amended. The amendments can be found in The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.
Working in conjunction, these laws aim to cover all aspects of your physical and mental safety and wellbeing at work as far as is reasonably practicable.
If you experienced a breach of duty and were caused harm as a result, you could seek damages by making a personal injury claim.
Furthermore, if you were sacked after an injury at work, you could make a separate claim for unfair dismissal. Call our team for more information.
Each claim may include general and special damages. General damages allow you to seek compensation for your physical and psychological injuries.
The JCG offers a list of physical and psychological injuries and a suggested amount of compensation for each. However, these sums are not guarantees. Instead, they simply aim to help value claims alongside other evidence. When looking at the JCG and evidence provided in support of your claim, the following factors may be considered:
- The severity of the pain and suffering you experienced
- Any heightened risk of long term health problems
- The impact on your quality of life
Evidence might include medical records detailing the nature of your injury and whether it was caused by the accident in question. Additionally, you may be required to attend a medical exam that’s completed independently. The exam may provide a report on the full extent of your injuries.
As you can see, the amount of compensation you receive will depend on factors unique to your case. However, we have created a table using figures from the JCG to give an idea of how much different injuries may be valued at.
|Back||Up to £2,300||Minor (iii): A full recovery made within 3 months|
|Neck||£4,080 to £7,410||Minor (i): Full recovery made within 1-2 years. This category also relates to exacerbation or acceleration injuries between 1 and 2 years.|
|Arm||£6,190 to £18,020||A forearm fracture which is simple in nature.|
|Shoulder||£7,410 to £11,980||Moderate: Injuries such as a frozen shoulder which limits movement and causes discomfort.|
|Ankle - very severe||£46,980 to £65,420||Very severe: A transmalleolar ankle fracture that causes soft tissue damage and deformity.|
|Elbow||£36,770 to £51,460||Examples might include an elbow injury that results in a severe disability.|
Special damages relate to any past or future financial losses you incurred because of your injury. For example:
- Loss of earnings
- Travel expenses to work or hospital
- Physiotherapy and specialist treatments
- Childcare costs
- Pension or attendance bonus
- Additional care costs
- Pet care, gardening, home adaptations
However, please note, evidence will be required in the form of receipts, payslips or invoices.
For further details, contact our team. They could connect you with one of our No Win No Fee lawyers to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Who Pays My Accident At Work Compensation?
We understand you may be concerned that claiming against your employer will affect the financial stability of the company.
If so, please be aware that all UK employers are required by law to carry Employer’s Liability Insurance for situations just like this.
When you make a claim for compensation it is against this insurance provider and no single person needs to pay the money themselves to you.
The relationship between you and your employer could break down to an intolerable degree, forcing you to leave your job because of the friction between you or their attitude towards you now.
But legally, if an employer has sacked you after an injury at work or threatens you with dismissal for reporting and claiming for an accident, you could sue them a second time for unfair or constructive dismissal.
We’re here to help you understand the options you have following both an accident at work and an unfair dismissal. For more information, call our team on the number above.
All employees have a duty of care to themselves and other members of staff to do everything they reasonably can to keep others safe. For that reason, if you were responsible for deliberately causing an accident at work, you would be in breach of your legal duty to yourself and other colleagues.
Deliberate or reckless actions may result in a disciplinary or on-the-spot dismissal for gross negligence, which your employer has every right to do. Misconduct or horseplay amongst colleagues can lead to accidents and in cases like this, the onus would be on you to accept consequences.
However, in cases where your employer was responsible, they cannot legally sack you for sustaining an injury at work or making a claim.
In some cases though, constructive dismissal can occur when employers try to dodge the responsibility and seek unpleasant ways of making you leave your job such as:
- Hostility and a withdrawal of ‘benefits’
- Extreme reactions to the slightest error or omission on your part
- Sudden and unjustified demotions
- Cuts to your pay or a refusal to make payments
Being on the receiving end of these types of workplace actions can be deeply unpleasant, especially if you’re still dealing with the repercussions of the accident. Talk with our friendly team now if you have suffered hostilities or been sacked after an injury at work.
Being sacked for an accident is a blunt and brutal way to handle staff. Making a claim for compensation is your legal right, but perhaps you were made to feel so uncomfortable in your job afterwards that you needed to leave it?
If so, you may wish to gather evidence that your dismissal was neither constructive nor fair, such as correspondence between you and your employer.
Alternatively, if you’re making a personal injury claim for the injuries you sustained in an accident caused by your employer’s negligence, you may wish to take the following steps:
- Seek medical care to ensure that you obtain as much medical evidence as possible
- Collect other evidence related to your claim from witnesses or CCTV
No matter whether you’re claiming unfair dismissal or making an accident at work claim, seeking advice from a solicitor may be beneficial.
A personal injury lawyer can advise and help you every step of the way to ensure you receive the compensation for being sacked after an injury at work.
In accordance with the Limitation Act 1980, there is a three year time period for making a personal injury claim.
However, some exceptions may apply in certain circumstances. For more information, please contact our team.
You can represent yourself in a claim against your employer. But cases like this can get complex and heavy with legal jargon. At UK Law we offer an instant solution. We can connect you with our panel of personal injury lawyers who work on a No Win No Fee basis.
There are many advantages to using the services of a solicitor this way, such as:
- No upfront costs are required for a solicitor to begin work on your claim
- No ongoing costs that could incur during the course of your claim, such as medical fees
- There are no solicitor fees to pay if the case fails
In successful cases, a small success fee is paid to your solicitor for their work on your case. The fee is deducted as a legally capped percentage from your total settlement.
Combined, these benefits represent cost-effective and fast legal representation. If you have more questions, use the details below to get in touch:
- Telephone — 020 3870 4868
- Contact us by filling out our online claim form
- Use the ‘live support’ option in the bottom right of this page
Below we have provided additional guides and other information on accident claims.
Visit our guide on self-employed accident at work claims.
If you suffered from industrial hearing loss at work, our guide could help.
See our guide on claiming for a workplace accident as an agency worker.
Please visit the government website for information on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
For any medical advice, visit the NHS website.
Visit the government website for more information on your employee rights.
Guide by WJJ
Edited by BER
Thanks for reading our guide on what to do if you get sacked after an injury at work.