Can My Employer Sack Me After I Had An Accident At Work?

This article is for those wondering ‘can they sack me after an accident at work?’ Following a workplace accident, you may not have any option but to take extended leave in order to heal. What’s more, your employer’s negligence may have caused your injuries or illness, so you may be thinking of claiming against them. Your employer isn’t able to dismiss you or treat you unfairly for this or for taking genuine sick leave. 

In this guide, we look at making a personal injury claim after an accident at work. If you have any questions, we also have advisors on-hand 24/7. They give free legal advice without any obligation for you to proceed with the services of our panel of solicitors. But, if you do have a valid claim, and you wish to continue, they could connect you to the panel. 

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can they sack me after an accident at work

Choose A Section

  1. Guidance – Can My Employer Sack Me After An Accident At Work?
  2. Calculating Your Compensation After An Accident At Work
  3. What Is Your Work Injury?
  4. Example Of Work Injuries
  5. Guidance On No Win No Fee Agreements
  6. More Information – Can My Employer Sack Me After An Accident At Work?

Guidance – Can My Employer Sack Me After An Accident At Work?

This article will address the question ‘can they sack me after an accident at work?’ This sentiment may not be far from your mind; however, there are protections in place to stop you from being unjustly let go. For this reason, it is important to understand your rights after an accident at work. Furthermore, you may be able to make a claim after an accident at work, providing it was caused by employer negligence.

Your employer can’t dismiss you or treat you unfairly for making an honest accident at work claim. If you are dismissed for this reason, you could make a separate unfair dismissal claim.

If you caused an accident at work deliberately, you may find that your employer is able to take appropriate measures in response. This could include a disciplinary, for example.

HSE Statistics About Work Accidents

In the United Kingdom, the presiding authority on workplace accidents is the Health And Safety Executive (HSE). As such, you can report notifiable non-fatal accidents or injuries in the workplace under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

The latest HSE statistics, taken from the year 2020/21, show 441,000 non-fatal, self-reported injuries filed with the Labour Force Survey. 51,211 non-fatal injuries were reported by employers. 

Calculating Your Compensation After An Accident At Work

If you have been involved in an accident at work that’s caused by employer negligence, you might be able to claim compensation.  Before you do so, it is important to understand what compensation is potentially available to you. Firstly, you should understand what heads of claim there are.

General Damages 

The main head of compensation, general damages, awards appropriately for the pain and suffering you endure. Furthermore, you could also seek compensation for loss of amenity (loss of enjoyment of life) if you experience this. You could seek compensation for a broken ankle preventing you from playing for your football team, for example. 

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) is a publication that solicitors may use to help when valuing injuries. It lists potential compensation brackets alongside injuries. We’ve taken figures from the guide and used them in the compensation table below, for illustrative purposes. 

InjurySeverityCompensation BracketNotes
Brain damage (b)Moderately Severe£219,070 to £282,010The person will be seriously disabled and dependent on others. They will need constant professional and other care.
Amputation of Arms (b)(i)Not less than £137,160One arm amputated at the shoulder
Injuries Affecting Sight (c)(i)£95,990 to £179,770Loss of sight in one eye with reduced vision in the remaining eye. There is a serious risk of further deterioration in the remaining eye.
Bladder (b)Complete loss of function and control.Up to £140,660Total loss of function and control.
Back Injuries (b)Moderate (i)£27,760 to £38,780Residual disability is less severe, with the bracket full of different injuries. There is constant pain and discomfort.
Spleen (a)Loss of spleen£20,800 to £26,290Loss of spleen and continuing risk of infection.
Digestive System (a)Damage Resulting from Traumatic Injury (iii)£6,610 to £12,590Penetrating stab wound or industrial laceration or serious seat belt pressure cases.
Shoulder Injuries (e)Fracture of Clavicle£5,150 to £12,240The level of award will depend on the extent of the fracture. Union may be displaced
Neck Injuries (c) Minor (ii)£4,350 to £7,890One to two years before a full recovery. This applies to short acceleration injuries.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (d)Less Severe£3,950 to £8,180In two years, the person will be almost fully recovered and only minor symptoms persist.

If you can’t see your injuries in the table above or are wondering how much you could claim, why not get in touch? Our advisors are available 24/7 and can value your claim for free.

Special Damages

Special damages compensate you for the financial losses associated with your injuries. For example, these could be awarded in the case of: 

  • Loss of income.
  • Cost of medication.
  • The use of transport regarding injury-related treatment (e.g. physiotherapy).
  • Loss of earning capability. 

To prove special damages, you’d need to supply evidence such as invoices, receipts or travel tickets.

  What Is A Work Injury? 

An injury at work is an accident or series of accidents that cause you physical or psychological harm. The key to claiming compensation for a workplace accident is proving that it was caused by the negligence of your employer. An employer shouldn’t sack you after an accident at work if their negligence led to it. 

A central piece of legislation on the issue, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, mandates that an employer owes their employees a duty of care. This means that it is the duty of every employer to ensure, “so far as is reasonably practicable”, the health and safety of their employees. 

Employer negligence occurs when the employer breaches their duty of care and you’re injured as a result. 

If you are injured at work, and you have evidence that the accident is a result of your employer’s negligence, you could have a claim. 

Examples Of Work Injuries

Examples of work injuries include:

Your employer can’t sack you after an accident at work under certain circumstances. If the accident was a result of your gross misconduct, your employer may take the appropriate measures, which could include dismissal. However, if the accident was caused by their negligence, they shouldn’t dismiss or treat you unfairly. They also shouldn’t dismiss you or mistreat you for making an honest claim. 

As with any legal case, a personal injury claim requires evidence in order to succeed. With that in mind, what evidence could you prepare and why is it important? 

  • Seek medical attention. This is always the first action you take following an injury at work. Any entries into your medical records could be used as evidence. 
  • Witnesses. Take the contact details of everyone that witnessed the accident. They could be contacted at a later date for statements. 
  • Photographs. Photograph the scene of the accident as soon as you can and, if applicable, photograph the injury. 
  • CCTV. If there is CCTV in or near to your work that could have filmed your accident, you could request the footage.
  • Report the incident. Your workplace should have an accident logbook for you to report certain incidents. 

Guidance On No Win No Fee Agreements

Our panel of solicitors offer their services under a No Win No Fee agreement. This is an agreement between you and your solicitor wherein they will fulfil the condition of winning your claim in order for you to pay them. Otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), No Win No Fee is a blanket term to describe several types of CFA. 

What are the benefits?

Should you win your case, you will pay your solicitor with a success fee: a pre-agreed, small percentage of your compensation. It’s capped by law and our panel can discuss the percentage with you before the claim, so it’s not fixed. 

Contrarily, an unsuccessful claim will require you to pay no success fee at all.

Contact our advisors for an obligation-free consultation if you want more answers to ‘can they sack me after an accident at work?’

Get in touch by:

    • Calling us on the number at the top of the page
    • Using our live chat
    • Contacting us through our website

More Information-Can My Employer Sack Me After An Accident At Work?

We have other sources that could prove useful. The below are from the government.

Employment Rights Act

Unfair Dismissal

Statutory Sick Pay

We also have other articles on our site that could help:

Publisher Ruth Vaughn

Writer Ryan Ward