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We often find that individuals can be reluctant to bring a claim
arising from an accident at work in case it results in them losing
their job. Here, we will discuss the different employment
relationships and the rights which each provides.
Ultimately, your employer cannot legally prevent you from
bringing a personal injury claim.
Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and
secure working environment for all staff. They owe a duty of care
towards all staff under the Management of Health and Safety at Work
Regulations 1999. If that duty is breached which results in injury
or illness, there would likely be grounds for you to claim
compensation by way of a personal injury claim.
Your rights as an Employee:
Pursuing a personal injury claim will not affect your employment
An employee with over 2 years’ service is protected from
unfair dismissal. This means that they can only be dismissed for a
fair reason and a full and fair process must be carried out. If an
employee is dismissed for bringing or contemplating a personal
injury claim, this would likely amount to an unfair dismissal.
If an employee is dismissed due to raising health and safety
complaints, this will likely amount to an automatic unfair
dismissal. Employees do not need 2 years’ service to pursue a
claim for automatic unfair dismissal.
If an employee is treated differently by his/her employer
resulting in a breakdown of the relationship which is due to them
bringing a personal injury claim, then this could amount to a
breach of the implied terms in the employment relationship and
could result in a constructive dismissal. This is where the
employer has committed a fundamental breach of contract which
entitles an employee to accept the breach, resign and treat
herself/himself as being constructively dismissed.
Your rights as a Worker:
You only have the right to claim unfair dismissal if you are an
However, a worker has the right not to be subjected to a
detriment on the grounds relating to health and safety. This
applies to workers in two instances:-
- Leaving work in the face of serious and imminent danger;
- Taking protective steps to avert serious or imminent
The right not to be dismissed on health and safety grounds only
applies to employees.
Self-Employed individuals do not have the same rights as
employees or workers. However, they do have protection in respect
of health and safety.
We can answer any concerns that you may have if you have been
injured in an accident at work.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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