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Injured at work – protecting your employment while pursuing a personal injury claim

It is common knowledge that if you have an accident that causes you injury and this is someone else’s fault that you may well have a personal injury claim – but what if the accident happened at work?

Associate solicitor, Rachel Ellis, provides insight into how the law is on your side if you make a personal injury claim against your employer.

The prospect of taking legal action against your employer can be a daunting one; will it change things at work? Will they be annoyed with me? Might I lose my job?

Luckily, the law offers protection to employees in this situation.

Employers are required to have insurance in place in relation to such claims and to provide a safe working environment to staff.

Therefore, many employers take such claims in their stride.

However, for those that don’t, an individual’s employment rights protect against any ill treatment or dismissal caused by an employee pursuing a personal injury claim.

Employees with over two years’ service can only be dismissed for a ‘fair reason’ under UK employment law.

These relate to various areas of the employment relationship such as misconduct, poor performance and redundancy.

Therefore, if an employee is dismissed for bringing a personal injury claim this may well give rise to an unfair dismissal claim against the employer.

Unfair dismissal claims can normally only be brought by employees who have more than two years’ service, however, the law also protects employees with less than 2 years’ service in some circumstances and the bringing of a personal injury claim attracts this protection.

This is on the basis that employees are protected from being dismissed, or treated poorly, due to having brought a protected disclosure or having ‘whistle blown’.

Bringing a complaint that your employer has breached their legal duty towards your health and safety qualifies for this protection providing the allegations are made in good faith and are in the public interest.

As health and safety at work is viewed as important in our society then nearly all personal injury claims would meet this requirement.

Therefore, while it might be a daunting prospect to bring a claim against your employer remember they are legally prohibited from subjecting you to any ill treatment, including dismissal, because of the claim.

If you feel that you have been subjected to any ill treatment due to this, then you should seek legal advice as you may have a claim in the Employment Tribunal against your employer.

At Minster Law we have a specialist employment team who can provide this advice.

We offer an initial free call and can be contacted on [email protected] or 0345 600 6980.