When Can I Return To Work After An Injury?

By Stephen Moreau. Last Updated 19th December 2023. Have you been injured in a workplace accident? Then you may feel anxious to know what your rights are. “When can I return to work after an injury?” could be a question on your mind. This guide will address any concerns you may have about returning to work after an injury. Moreover, we will explain the eligibility criteria for making an accident at work claim following an injury caused through negligence.

UK Law can assess your case for free to see if it is possible to make a personal injury claim for an accident at work. Our panel of expert personal injury solicitors have up to three decades of experience helping workers make successful personal injury claims.

To begin your claim, get in contact with us right away:

Worker recovering with an injured foot

When can I return to work after an injury?

Services And Information

  1. What Is An Injury At Work?
  2. When Can You Return To Work?
  3. Can I Get Statutory Sick Pay For A Work Injury?
  4. Your Rights After An Injury At Work
  5. Injury At Work UK Calculator
  6. What Is The Time Limit For Making A Workplace Accident Claim?
  7. What Should You Do Following A Workplace Injury?
  8. Do You Handle Work Injury Claims With No Win No Fee Agreements?
  9. Guides Related To When Can I Return To Work After An Injury?

What Is An Injury At Work?

If a worker experiences an accident at work, they can suffer an injury or become ill. According to the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, employers have a duty of care towards their workers. Therefore, the employer is legally responsible for their employee’s health, safety and wellbeing as far as is reasonably practicable. The employer’s duty of care applies within the workplace premises and environments that the employer controls.

So, an employer should provide their employee with a safe and hygienic environment inwhich to work. If PPE is a requirement for the employee to do the job safely it should be provided by the employer. For example, employers must provide their employees with appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) if they work with hazardous chemicals.

Moreover, workplace regular risk assessments are key to safe environments. What is the process of carrying out a risk assessment?

  • Firstly, an employer will assess its premises to identify possible health and safety hazards. A hazard is a thing that puts employees and visitors at risk of an accident.
  • Secondly, a workplace must apply control measures to any hazards they identify. This means that the workplace could remove the hazard or take steps to reduce the risk.

If an employer fails to take appropriate measures to protect its workers from workplace accidents, this breaches their duty of care. Therefore the employer may be held liable for the worker’s injuries. As a result, the employee could claim compensation for their workplace injury.

Contact UK Law today for help starting a workplace accident claim.

When Can You Return To Work?

If you are currently taking time off work because of injuries, then you may be asking a question along the lines of “When can I return to work after an injury?” The amount of time it takes before it becomes appropriate to return to work depends on several factors. These include how severe your injury is and your job role.

Regarding the right time for you to return to work, you should always follow the advice of the medical professionals who have been treating you and are assessing your condition. If you’re off work for more than 7 days due to an injury or illness, then your employer may ask for a fit note from a healthcare professional. A fit note is an assessment from whoever has been treating you as to whether you are fit to work or not. It is also known as a Statement of Fitness for Work.

If you require a fit note, contact the medical professional who is treating you. They can then assess you and determine your current capacity to work. They can issue a fit note that may advise either that you’re “fit for work”, “not fit for work”, or “may be fit for work”.

If the note says you “may be fit for work”, then that usually means that the medical professional who wrote it believes you can return to work but only in a limited capacity. The note will provide instructions on what tasks at work you can complete.

For more advice on your rights if you’ve been injured in a work environment or whether you can return to work, you can contact our advisors for free today.

Can I Get Statutory Sick Pay For A Work Injury?

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is available to you if your work injury leaves you unable to work for at least 4 days in a row. Your employer pays you £99.35 per week for up to 28 weeks. Agency workers are also entitled to SSP. Amongst providing a doctor’s note/fit note from a medical professional, there are other eligibility requirements that you must meet in order to receive the statutory amount.

Firstly, you must be classed as an employee and will earn on average at least £123 or more per week. You must also inform your employer that you are unable to come to work before their deadline or by 7 days if they haven’t set one.

If you have been injured in an accident at work and are not receiving SSP from your employer, get in touch and our team can advise you on what steps to take next. They can answer your questions, such as, ‘when can I return to work?’.

Your Rights After An Injury At Work

The following legislation protects the health and safety of workers in the UK.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that employers must provide the following for their workers:

  • Safe passageways to prevent slips, trips and falls at work. Therefore floors must be free of hazards.
  • Toilet facilities, for their staff.
  • Clean and adequate workspace, ventilation and lighting.

The Health And Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992

The Health And Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. The regulations require employers to do the following:

  • Conduct risk assessments to use Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and apply control measures to reduce these risks.
  • Allow employees who regularly use DSEs to have adequate breaks.
  • Provide eyesight tests and appropriate health and safety information.

The Personal Protective Equipment At Work Regulations 1992

The Personal Protective Equipment At Work Regulations 1992 requires employers to provide workers with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if they need it to do their job safely. The PPE should be provided free of charge “wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways”. Examples of PPE include goggles and helmets. Employers should provide instructions on how to use the PPE.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 was put in place helps to reduce manual handling injuries. Employers could do the following to make the working environment safe:

  • Conduct risk assessments of manual handling activities. What’s more, employers should consider if a task is suitable for an employee. For example, the employer could consider the employee’s strength and the load they are expected to carry.
  • Provide information to workers about how much a load weighs.
  • Avoid setting manual handling tasks which may cause a serious injury, where possible.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 looks to set rules of the safety requirements for equipment. To ensure employees have well maintained and safe equipment an employer may:

  • Provide equipment that is safe and suitable for the task that it is being used for.
  • That equipment is properly maintained, whatever its age.
  • Adequately train and instruct employees on how best to use the equipment.
  • And put proper precautions in place to protect employees from dangerous machinery.

Injury At Work Calculator

You can use the compensation table below to estimate approximately how much compensation you could receive for your injury. The compensation amounts in this table are based on the latest guidelines published by the Judicial College. This document is often used by legal representatives to come to a value for specific injuries, including both physical injuries and certain injuries that affect mental health.

Take note that the first entry in this table is an estimated figure and not based on the Judicial College guidelines.

Location Of Injury About This Injury Amount
Multiple Serious Injuries With Special Damages If you have sustained multiple serious injuries, then your compensation claim may cover all of these as well as any related special damages, such as loss of earnings. Up to £500,000+
Severe Arm Injuries (a) The injury will be very severe. The claimant will be left with an arm which is of little use and be only slightly better off than if they had lost the limb through amputation. £96,160 to £130,930
Arm Injuries Resulting in Permanent and Substantial Disablement (b) One or both forearms will be seriously fractured, causing significant permanent residual disability. £39,170 to £59,860
Moderate Brain or Head Injury (iii) Harm caused could present as problems with your memory or ability to concentrate. You may find your ability to work has been reduced or otherwise affected. £43,060 to £90,720
Less Severe Brain or Head Injury Any damage to the brain will be less severe than higher compensation categories. There will be some (but less severe) impact on social and work life. Concentration and memory could be affected. £15,320 to £43,060
Severe Leg Injuries (b) (ii) Very Serious Serious harm will have been caused to the person. This could lead to lasting problems with mobility in the affected leg(s). A mobility or walking aid could be required. £54,830 to £87,890
Severe Leg Injuries (b) (iii) Serious This bracket may apply to either compound or comminuted fractures or injuries to joints or ligaments resulting in instability. Prolonged treatment will be necessary. £39,200 to £54,830
Severe Leg Injuries (b) (iv) Moderate This bracket may apply to severe crushing injuries, multiple fractures or a complicated fractured, usually affecting a single limb. £27,760 to £39,200
Less Serious Leg Injuries (c) (i) This could present as either a bone fracture or as damages to the soft tissues. The person is not expected to make a full recovery. £17,960 to £27,760

There are two types of compensation you could be owed:

  • General damages, which is compensation for the harmful effects of your injuries.
  • Special damages are to reimburse you for any financial losses incurred because of your injuries.

Special damages that you can claim include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income reimbursement
  • Travel Expenses
  • Home or car adaptation expenses
  • Mobility equipment expenses
  • Care expenses

We have included general damages in the table above. However, we have not included any special damages you could claim. Of course, the amount of compensation you receive may vary. If you call UK Law today, an advisor can estimate how much compensation you could claim. Contact us today to speak to an advisor about making a personal injury claim for an accident at work.

What Is The Time Limit For Making A Workplace Accident Claim?

There is a personal injury claims time limit of three years. Therefore, you must begin your claim within three years from the day your accident happened. Or you must begin your claim within three years from the day that you became aware of your injuries were caused by negligence.

We recommend that you contact UK Law today for your free consultation. Our claims team can advise on your limitation time.

What Should You Do Following A Workplace Injury?

The most important thing is to ensure that you are safe and receive the medical treatment you need. However, you can also take steps to gather evidence at the scene of the accident to help you claim compensation for your injuries.

  • Firstly, please seek the appropriate medical treatment for your injuries for health reasons. It is also important to have your injuries diagnosed and treated by a doctor. So your medical records can be used as evidence to support your claim.
  • Secondly, please report your injuries to your employer and make sure the details are recorded accurately in the organisation’s accident log book. You can also take other steps to collect evidence. For example, taking photos of the hazard that caused your accident at work.
  • Thirdly, contact UK Law to begin your workplace accident claim. We can provide you with free legal advice about claiming. What’s more, our panel of personal injury lawyers can handle your claim, so you receive the compensation that you are owed.

Do You Handle Work Injury Claims With No Win No Fee Agreements?

Many choose to have their fee handled on a No Win No Fee basis. A No Win No Fee agreement is a way to fund a personal injury solicitors fee. You will sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). The CFA states that you will pay a success fee if your claim is successful. In the unlikely instance that your compensation claim is not successful, you will not have to pay a success fee.

What’s more, No Win No Fee solicitors are the more affordable option for many. This is because the fee is deducted from the claimant’s payout.

To begin your compensation claim for an injury at work, contact us right away.

Guides Related To When Can I Return To Work After An Injury

We hope this guide has been informative and has answered the question, “When can I return to work after an injury?“. To learn more about claiming compensation for an accident at work, please feel free to look at these guides.

Thank you for reading our guide on when you can return to work, after an injury.