Can You Get Fired For An Accident At Work?
If you are wondering what your rights are, whether you have been unfairly dismissed or need to know what to do next if you have been fired for an accident at work, read on for the answers you need from our expert team of lawyers here at Hattons.
Have you been fired following an accident at work? Or are you facing the threat of employment termination following the pursuit of compensation for an accident at work? The way you are treated as an employee following an accident at work is strictly governed by statutory and contractual law surrounding employment rights.
Can You Get Fired For An Accident At Work?
Can you get fired for an accident at work? You should not be fired for an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. Both employees and employers are protected by The Employment Rights Act 1996. Section 94 of the Act specifically details that an employer cannot dismiss an employee unfairly and is required to provide a valid reason for dismissal.
As a result of this Act, you cannot be lawfully fired for pursuing a claim for compensation after suffering an accident from work and if you have been dismissed for having an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, or for pursuing compensation for an accident at work, then you may have a case for unfair dismissal and could be due compensation for the losses you have experienced.
To pursue a case of unfair dismissal or discuss any concerns you have regarding your employer’s handling of an accident at work, you should contact a solicitor specialising in unfair dismissal claims for legal advice as soon as you think you have a case. At Hattons Law we have a team dedicated to investigating and securing compensation for unfair dismissal on behalf of our clients in and around the North West of England, and beyond.
Fired After An Accident At Work?
On average, in our lifetime we will spend 3,507 days at work so it’s safe to say that what we do to make a living has a huge impact on our lives. With such a large proportion of time spent at work, it’s only right that you should feel safe when working and would expect to be looked after and supported properly should you ever endure the unfortunate situation of suffering an accident at work. In fact, this isn’t just an expectation, it’s the law and you, the employee, should not be penalised if accidents occur that weren’t your fault.
Read on to find out what options you have if you’re fired after an accident at work and whether you have grounds to bring an unfair dismissal case against your employer.
What Is A Work Related Accident?
When we talk about being fired after an accident at work, we’re referring to situations that have led to an employee being injured or suffering from an illness due to the environment they work in. Injuries or illnesses from accidents at work usually occur due to one or more of the following reasons:
- The way work was organised
- The way the work was carried out
- The condition of the premises where the accident happened
- The condition of the equipment that was being used
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers have a legal duty of care towards their employees. This means that employers are legally required to ensure the safety of their workers while they are at work and must do everything in their power to satisfy health and safety criteria that addresses each point above.
Dismissal Following An Accident At Work
When considering the outcome of an accident at work and whether or not dismissal is fair or unfair, it’s important to know how the accident was caused and what was said between the employee and employer.
If your employer fails to maintain standards, environments or equipment in a way that leads you to suffer an injury or illness as a result of their negligence, you have a legal right to pursue a claim for compensation for the accident itself.
If however, it is your own actions or inactions that have seriously compromised the health and safety of you or those around you and have resulted in an injury, then you may have committed an act of gross misconduct which can lead to you being dismissed from work following an investigation and usual dismissal standard procedures. In this instance, it is unlikely that you have been unfairly dismissed.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Fired After An Accident At Work?
It is a breach of employment law for an employee to be dismissed without a valid reason and employers have a duty to act fairly and reasonably when terminating the employment of an employee. If you are concerned about the handling of your dismissal following an accident at work, follow these simple steps to ensure you take positive steps to the most successful outcome for you:
- If you are threatened with or receive notice of dismissal after an accident, the best thing you can do is seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Unfair dismissal is a complex area of law that requires expert insight and understanding to navigate effectively. If you have been fired after an accident at work, you may have been unfairly dismissed and in these cases you will need the help of a lawyer to ascertain if there is a case to pursue compensation.
Find Out More: What Are My Rights When Dismissed From Work? Find unbiased and clear advice that may help at gov.uk.
- Discuss the matter with your employer and follow any established grievance procedures available. Using a third party like a solicitor to engage in mediation or arbitration may be a useful step in aiding discussion to find a suitable way forward that all parties are content with, without pursuing litigation.
If these discussions are unsuccessful then you may need to attend an employment tribunal. A lawyer will be able to support you with this including helping you know what to expect and when to act.
Find Out More: What Is An Employment Tribunal
What Should I Do After An Accident At Work?
Depending on the seriousness of the accident you experience at work you may be shocked, confused or severely injured. Managing these symptoms and seeking medical attention should be your first priority.
Once any immediate response needed is taken care of, if you have been injured or experienced a near miss that could have resulted in injury at work you should report this immediately to your line manager or person responsible for health and safety in your workplace.
If you are unable to report the accident at the time it occurs, once you are able to do so, you or a nominated person acting on your behalf should ensure the following steps are taken care of:
- The accident and your resulting injuries are recorded in the employers accident book. If an accident book doesn’t exist, clearly set out the facts of the incident in a letter or email to your employer. Always refer to and follow the guidance set out in the employee policies or handbooks available when reporting an accident.
- Take photos of the location that the accident occurred including any machinery, equipment, tools or contributing factors to the incident at the time. Note the weather if it occurred outside.
- If there is CCTV footage available, request a copy. Your employer must provide this if available.
- Take photos of the injuries suffered if possible.
- Seek a medical report from the physician in charge of your immediate and long term care if applicable
Find out more: Reporting accidents at work
We hope this article has given you a simple overview of your rights you have regarding the termination of your employment following an accident at work. As a reminder, you should not be fired for pursuing a claim for compensation after suffering an accident from work and if you have been dismissed for having an accident at work that wasn’t your fault or for pursuing compensation for an accident at work, then you may have a case for unfair dismissal and could be due compensation for the losses, illnesses and injuries you have experienced.
Find Out More
If you have been fired for an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, St Helens based solicitors Hattons can help you to bring a claim for unfair dismissal if a case exists.
To discuss your case and start the process of getting compensation for the damages and injuries you have suffered, please use the contact form on this page or call 01744 744400 to speak to our legal team specialising in these matters. We will work with you to understand your case in depth so we can work towards securing the best outcome possible compensation for you in the event of a successful unfair dismissal claim.
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Hattons Solicitors is based in St Helens, Merseyside and the firm has been providing efficient, affordable and high quality legal services to members of the public and the wider business community since 2001. Professional excellence and quality of work is reinforced by our Law Society Lexcel Accreditation, and membership to the Law Society. Our friendly team will always listen to you and your needs before working with you to deliver the approach that best meets your individual needs.Posted on: 10/Oct/2020 Posted in: Employment Law