If you are considering whether to make a claim for personal injury compensation after an accident at work, you may wonder if you need to discuss the claim with your employer. The decision as to whether or not you should inform your employer that you have made a claim is for you to make. There is no requirement for you to discuss it with your employer, or anyone else for that matter.
On the other hand, there is no legal reason not to either. A good, supportive employer would have no reason to quibble with a decision to pursue a claim for personal injury compensation. If an accident book entry has been made at the time of the accident, the employer will already be aware of it and a claim for compensation is unlikely to come as a big surprise.
After an accident at work that was not your fault, one of your rights is to make a work injury claim. Many people are concerned that it could lead to the loss of their job. We are able to offer some peace of mind to people with such worries, as there is no legal way for an employer to terminate your employment simply for pursuing a claim for compensation.
Who at your workplace will know about your claim?
One of the things people claiming accident at work compensation ask us is who will know about their claim. There is no need for your line manager or colleagues to be made aware of it. Usually there are only a small number of parties who are likely to be involved:
- You – the claimant – and your solicitor
- Your employer and their insurers
- Health & Safety Executive (HSE) via RIDDOR in more serious accident at work cases
- Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) – in case any benefits you may receive as a result of the accident are to be recovered from the 3rd party insurer
In most claims, the employer would have already been informed by your solicitor, or when their employer liability insurers advise them of the receipt of claim. Usually the employer’s insurance company will deal with the claim – liaising with the employer to investigate the claim and consider relevant paperwork such as the accident book entry, maintenance sheets, training records and statements so that they can reach a decision about accepting or denying liability.
The vast majority of employers do not discuss any claim made against them with the worker at the heart of the claim. As you can imagine, when an insurer is handling it at their end and a specialist solicitor is representing you, it is left to those two parties to communicate with one another.
What can happen if you claim against your employer
If you opt to make a claim for accident at work compensation, there is no reason that your relationship with your employer should deteriorate. If they have made a mistake and their negligence lead to your injuries, they ought to concentrate their efforts on making sure that the accident does not happen again. The vast majority of employers accept when they are responsible and say nothing to their employee about any claim for compensation.
An employer cannot legally dismiss you or terminate your employment on the grounds that you have made, or are considering making a claim. Any employer that decides to harass or pressure an employee into dropping a claim, or tried to terminate employment due to a claim, is skating on thin ice. If this happens, you would then have a possible claim for unfair dismissal against them.
If the attitude of your employer was negative and their handling of any claim was such that you felt that you could no longer work for them, you may wish to hand in your resignation. If this were to happen, you could then look to make a claim for constructive dismissal.
The vast majority of companies and employers handle things in the correct manner and it is extremely unlikely that you will face any negative issues as a result of making a claim for accident at work compensation. That said, we advocate discussing any legal matter with as few people or parties as possible. You are not obliged to discuss a claim with with an employer, or place the employer on notice of a claim. In the end, if you do pursue a claim, the two parties dealing with it will be your solicitor and the insurers of your employer.