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Sick pay after injury at work

If you have been injured at work and the accident or injury occurred whilst performing your working duties, you might expect fair treatment from your employer should you undergo an enforced period of absence.

Sadly this does not always happen and in our experience it is more common for an employer to take a hard-line stance with an employee, particularly regarding sick pay. One of the most common reasons why injured employees decide to make a claim is because they do not receive any wages during an enforced absence. So what are your rights in this situation?

Your rights to sick pay depend very much on the specific wording of your contract of employment.

Some employers will pay "Occupational Sick Pay" as part of their contract which (usually) will entitle the injured party to full or partial pay during an enforced absence.   In many cases such contracts do not apply and employers will simply meet their minimum requirements to pay Statutory Sick Pay only.

There is no absolute right to full pay whilst you are absent through work related injury. This applies whether the injury was self induced or as a result of negligence on the part of the employer.   The only way to be certain you will recover all of your losses including earnings or overtime – is to make a personal injury claim by instructing a "no win no fee" lawyer.

 


Occupational Sick Pay

This is paid by employers who are contractually obliged to pay the salary (usually in full) of any person absent from work through injury or illness. There is however usually a heavy element of discretion and the employer has control over what amounts are paid and for how long. This benefit will normally apply only after a person has been employed for a fixed period of time. each set of rules can be different from one employer to another.

 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Most workers are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if their employer does not provide occupational sick pay, either at all or, for example, in their first period of service. But SSP is based on a number of rules, including:

You must be off sick for four or more consecutive days including weekends.

But payment of SSP can only be made for each "qualifying" day. In other words each day that you would normally be expected to work anyway.

SSP is not paid for the first three qualifying days in any period of incapacity for work. You must earn more than what is called the Lower earnings Limit (LEL) for National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

If your average earnings before deductions such as tax and National Insurance (NI) are £79.00 a week or more, the SSP rate is £63.25 a week. Part-time workers are entitled to SSP. Short term contract employees may not be entitled to SSP. You must be under the age of 65 and over the age of 16. You must show your employer some evidence that you are sick. A "self-certification" is usually sufficient but the employer is entitled to some evidence that you were absent for appropriate reasons.

This is probably the best site around for information about SSP or for general Health and Safety at work please visit the official Government website covering a number of key issues:  www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/HealthAndSafetyAtWork/index.htm


Will you be sacked if you make a claim?

This is a crucial question for most claimants. Most people believe that if they have been injured at work and decide to make a claim, that they will be penalised for doing so by their employer and possibly fired.   If you have been employed for less than 12 months then you have very few employment rights in the UK. However the employer would be open to severe criticism if they dismissed a member of staff following an injury. The accident causing the injury may well have involved breaches of health & safety.

Such dismissals are always questionable and legal action may be possible against the employer (i.e. involving an employment Tribunal).

If you have been employed for over 12 months you are very well protected against unfair dismissal. That does not say that an unscrupulous employer will not act against you. Only the claimant can decide whether it is right that they claim and whether they are happy with the slight risk that the employer may at some point discipline them.

 

We also deal with the following types of claim: Car accident claims including: Whiplash personal injury claims –  Trip, slip, fall accident claimsWork related hernia –  Criminal injury claims following an assault. NHS hospital or GP Negligence claims – we are one of few online specialists in medical or clinical negligence claims.

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