Do I Get Paid If I Have an Accident at Work?

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Home > Claiming Compensation > Personal Injury > Accident at Work Claims > Do I Get Paid If I Have an Accident at Work?

If you are injured in a workplace accident then it’s crucial to understand your financial rights during your recovery period so that you know where you stand and are able to navigate through what can be an extremely stressful time.

Understanding the personal injury claims’ process is essential for navigating this time, as it involves gathering evidence, liaising with insurers, and negotiating settlements.

By knowing your rights and responsibilities this can help to reduce any stress and so you are better able to concentrate on your recovery.


What are your Rights?

In the UK there isn’t an automatic entitlement to full pay following an injury at work but there are a number of ways that you can look to receive financial support subject to eligibility.

Employees may be among injured workers entitled to compensation if their injuries were caused by their employer’s negligence.

Telling your employer about your work place accident is vital. By reporting matters there will be a record of what happened. This can definitely help your claim if you are looking to claim compensation later. We set out below a table summarising why it’s so important for you to report your accident:

 

 

Legal Requirements for Workplace Accident Reporting Benefits of Reporting Workplace Accidents
  • Employers have a legal duty to report certain accidents to the relevant authorities
  • An employer’s failure to report can result in fines or other penalties
  • Formal reporting creates an official record of the incident
  • Strengthens your compensation claim
  • May help to prevent similar accidents in the future
  • Ensures your employer takes appropriate action

 

First of all it’s important to review your employment contract so you can establish whether you are entitled to contractual sick pay, which may be more generous than Statutory Sick Pay. For instance some employers can offer full pay whilst the employee is off sick before moving to half pay or Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).


Sick Pay and Compensation

Eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay

It’s possible that you may be eligible to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) which is a government benefit that employers provide to eligible workers who are incapable of working as a result of an injury or illness.

Not everyone qualifies for SSP and to claim SSP certain conditions need to be satisfied:

  • You need to be an employee with a contract of employment although this can include part-time and temporary employment (so the self employed don’t qualify).
  • As of 2024/25 your gross average earnings need to be at least £123 per week.
  • The illness or injury needs to be for a period of at least 4 consecutive days (and this includes non-working days).

 

If you qualify then SSP will be paid from the fourth day of absence.

The rules require that you notify your employer of your illness or injury in line with your employer’s individual policy but if there isn’t one, within a 7 day period.

Failure to advise your employer within these timescales could result in you losing some of the Statutory Sick Pay.

If you don’t qualify for any reason then it’s possible that you could meet the criteria for other benefis like Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.


Duration of Statutory Sick Pay

SSP can be paid for up to 28 weeks when just a single period of absence is involved or where there are a number of linked periods (in circumstances where each absence is 8 weeks or less apart).

Sick Notes

If the accident at work results in you being off work for more than 7 days consecutively then you are obliged to provide your employer with a sick note from your doctor or health professional such as your occupational therapist, physiotherapist or nurse.

  • Obtaining a sick note (or sometimes referred to as a “fit note”) is an important step in confirming a person’s inability to work as a result of injury or illness. The sick note is a way of proving to your employer that you are unfit for work and require time off to recouperate.
  • A sick note should confirm the date the doctor or other medical professional saw you, the reason that you are off or injured at work and how long the sick note lasts for.
  • Its possible that your doctor or other medical professional will decide that whilst you aren’t able to return to full duties for a short period you are capable of for some form of light work if suitable adjustments are made.
  • Once a sick note has been issued it is for the employee to advise the employer as soon as possible and submit any further medical records or sick notes as required.
  • It is then for the employer to process the sick notes so that the employee is in a position to receive any sick pay that they are entitled to.

Can My Employer Refuse Sick Pay After a Workplace Injury?

If you don’t qualify for sick pay (basic rules listed above) then of course your employer is entitled to refuse to pay you sick pay. However if your employer refuses to accept your application and you are unsure why then it’s important you find out their reasons so you are able to gauge whether the refusal is legitimate.

If the employer’s reasoning is unclear or seems wrong then you should seek free legal advice, from a solcitor specialising in employment law who will be able to advise you. If in reality your employer has no real justification for their stance, for instance, it maybe that your employer runs a small business and tells you they cannot afford to pay you your full wage. It may then be appropriate for you to take advice about proceeding with legal action against your employer.

Knowing your rights in relation to employment law can be crucial in the context of taking sick leave and receiving sick pay. If you believe your rights are being violated then there is no substitute for seeking advice from an employment law solicitor who will be able to provide you with the options open to you and will be able to provide evidence and to advise on the most appropriate course of action.


Discretion in Sick Pay Policies

It’s also important to be aware that Employers can use their discretion to make exceptions to their standard sick pay policies. So, this means that it’s possible for them to choose to give you sick pay even though you don’t necessarily meet the criteria set out by the company.

Some schemes actually state that payments are in the “employer’s discretion” so in practise this leaves it for the employer to decide the approach they take in terms of payment of illness pay based on their evaluation of the situation. For instance if the employer believes the absence is not justified they can refuse to pay sick pay.

If your employer has decided to provide discretionary sick pay this does not by any means guarantee they will continue to do so in the future. If they repeatedly offer discretionary sick pay over a long period of time it might then be possible to argue it has become an implied term of the contractual relationship due to established “custom and practice”.


Returning to Work Following Workplace Accidents

Depending on the nature and extent of the injuries sustained, returning to work can be a complicated and hard process. After a long period off work, it is probably going to be a difficult transition returning to work and it’s important that you approach matters openly with your employer and with careful planning.

  • Make sure you keep your employer fully informed about the progress you are making as well as the final date you hope to return to work so they are in a position to discuss any modifications or adjustments that need to be made.
  • It’s possible that some employers will try to apply pressure on you to return to work early, thereby putting you at risk of further injury. If this happens, you should firmly assert your position and seek clear medical advice from your doctor about their opinion in terms of timescales for returning to work. You should also seek legal advice about the situation with a view to protecting and upholding your rights.
  • It’s also important that you obtain full agreement from your doctor that you are in a position to return to work. Your doctor may be in a position to make recommendations to your employer to help you make a smooth transition back to work. If this means reducing your working hours and this results in a loss in your earning capacity, this is a head of loss that can be claimed on top of everything else.
  • Remember to document everything so you have a detailed record setting out all contact details, the communication with your employer and all your responses.

Occupational Health Support

If your employer has an occupational health department then it is important to embrace any free advice and assistance that you can receive in this respect. These types of service can offer expert advice in relation to the adaptation of working conditions suited to your needs and facilitating a smooth and safe return to your work.

There is likely to be assistance in relation to assessing your abilities and limitations following your accident and recommendations will be made by the occupational health support department for any adaptations or modifications in the working environment for you.


Mental Health Considerations

Accidents at work can also have an adverse impact upon your psychological state and if this is true for you then you need to seek assistance from your doctor in the first instance and also it may be your employer has access to mental health resources such as counselling. It’s not unusual for an accident at work to result in stress, anxiety and possibly depression which can prevent a recovery so it’s important for accident at work victims to seek all the support they can receive to deal with any psychological symptoms.


How to Maximise Benefits Beyond SSP and Recover All Your Lost Income?

If you have suffered a workplace accident as a result of your employer’s negligence causing a loss of income then you need to look at recovering all of your lost income by submitting a claim for personal injury compensation. Individuals can file a personal injury claim to recover lost income. After all, any individual who has been injured or suffered an accident at work leading from their employer’s negligence has the right to seek compensation.

If you believe your employer’s negligence has resulted in workplace injuries which, for example, has arisen through a failure to provide proper training, adequate protective equipment, safe equipment, or a failure of any other legal duty, then you need to consider the claims process and legal fees for bringing a workplace injury claim. Employers are also obligated to report serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases, and dangerous occurrences to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

By bringing and succeeding with your workplace injuries claim, you can look to recover all your lost income, including any difference between any SSP and your regular net earnings. Plus, of course, any other losses or expenses that you have suffered arising out of the accident at work. You may also consider hiring No Win No Fee solicitors who work on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning you won’t have to pay upfront or ongoing fees, and you won’t have to pay if the claim is unsuccessful.

We know from our experience with bringing accident at work claims that some employees can be hesitant to claim compensation from their employers, but with suffering financial losses as well as injuries that were not their fault, most people resolve to take action.

Whatever the amount of your financial losses arising out of your accident at work claim, whether small or significant, we would be delighted to help you bring your compensation claim.


Seeking Professional Assistance

If you have been involved in an accident at work then our team of extremely experienced personal injury solicitors is here to help guide you through the often complex procedure of claiming compensation.

We understand the stress and uncertaintly that our clients can be under when looking to claim compensation and we do our very best to explain matters so they are not having to worry about what is happening and the procedure to be followed when looking to claim compensation.

Our no win no fee solicitors are at hand so you can seek compensation without the worry of having to pay up front legal costs and knowing that your no win no fee claim will be managed by specialist accident at work solicitors who are dedicated to recovering the best possible compensation for you.

By choosing our personal injury solicitors you will gain access to our expert advice and sympathetic support which will enable you to focus on your recovery while leaving us to handle your personal injury claim.


Concluding Remarks

If you have suffered a workplace accident and believe that your employer is acting in a way that is contravening your rights and denying you what you’re entitled to then it’s important to reach out for support.

At the same time understanding your rights and the sort of support available is going to help you navigate the challenges you face. This will be particularly true if your employer is resisting providing you with the necessary assistance or if you are subject to complex legal or financial issues as a result of your accident at work.

No doubt whatever position you find yourself in following an accident at work your health and sense of well being needs to be right at the top of your priorities. In practise, this means that it’s necessary to take time to fully recover seeking out medical attention and psychological support along the way and making sure that you are fully informed about your rights and the available support.

By approaching matters in this way you will be protecting your long term sense of well being and ongoing quality of life.


FAQ

What are my rights as an employee if I suffer an accident at work?

In the UK, employers are under an legal obligation to keep their employees safe and healthy. If you suffer an accident at work and sustain injuries you could claim compensation. Employers must report serious work-related accidents and injuries to the authorities.

Why is it crucial to report a workplace accident immediately?

Reporting workplace accidents which involve injuries is absolutely essential so there is an official record setting out exactly what happened. This formal documentation can be valuable for all sorts of reasons and especially if you need to file a compensation claim later on.

Do I get paid if I have an accident at work?

Not necessarily, there’s no obligation on the employer to pay an injured member of staff their full salary unless of course this is stipulated within the contract of employment or company policy.

How do I begin a Claim for Compensation arising out of a Workplace Accident?

Should you wish to explore the prospect of receiving compensation for your accident at work injuries then we would be delighted to hear from you. We can discuss your claim and let you know whether we believe the claim is likely to succeed. We will be in a position to answer any questions you may have and provide you with all necessary support.


Meet the author

David Healey has worked in the legal profession since 1999 and qualified as a solicitor in 2005. He has successfully settled thousands of personal injury claims and recovered millions of pounds in compensation for victims. He handles personal injury litigation at Carter & Carter Solicitors and has specialised in the field of personal injury for 25+ years.

David is a hands-on solicitor who deals with every aspect of the claim from start to finish. He will be ruthless in his quest to secure his clients the best result possible having honed his legal skills during a very varied career.

To learn more about David, the team at C&C Solicitors and the legal services they offer, please visit www.candcsolicitors.co.uk/about-us/   or speak to David on 01663 761 892