Part-time worker injury compensation claims

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Jonathan Speight

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A guide to making a No Win No Fee part-time worker injury claim

Many people are unsure of their rights when they work part-time, or when they work on a temporary or casual basis in an organisation. This may deter them from bringing a claim if they are injured in an accident in the workplace.

Employers' duty

All employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment for all their employees and workers; this includes those on part-time, temporary and casual contracts, plus self-employed contractors working in the organisation.

Safety standards and training vary according to the workplace, but are essential in reducing or preventing workplace injuries.

Whatever their contracted hours of work may be all employees should be trained in the correct use of any equipment and be made aware of potential hazards. They should also be provided with any necessary protective clothing.

Providing suitable workstations and chairs and ensuring the workplace is kept is a safe and tidy condition is also important.

Employers' Liability Insurance

Despite all precautions, accidents in the workplace still happen. For this reason all employers and businesses are legally required to have employers' liability insurance.

Any claim for compensation for an injury sustained while at work is made on the employer's insurance policy.

Will the insurance always cover the claim?

When a Claimant brings a claim against an organisation his employer passes the claim onto the insurance company who will investigate the accident and pay any compensation.

The insurer will only pay compensation if it is satisfied that the employer was responsible for the Claimant's injuries.

If the insurer believes that the employer has failed to meet its legal responsibilities for the health and safety of its employees, the policy may enable the insurer to reclaim the cost of compensation from the employer.

In some instances workplace accidents may have been avoided by the employee, and claiming for compensation may not be possible.

What if the employer does not have insurance?

Any company requiring but not holding, employers' liability insurance, may be fined. This can be up to 2,500 for any day it is without suitable insurance.

Family businesses, where all the employees are closely related to the employer, are exempt from the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act (unless they are incorporated as a limited company).

Employers of domestic help (such as gardeners and cleaners) are not generally required to have liability insurance, as the employees usually work for more than one person.

Can a casual worker be dismissed for making a personal injury claim?

Casual workers may be deterred from bringing a claim for fear of losing their jobs.

As well as a right to health and safety in the workplace, casual workers do have some of the same employment law rights as employees. Although they do not have the right to bring a case for unfair dismissal, it may be possible to bring a claim for discrimination if a Claimant was dismissed from his job as a consequence of bringing a personal injury claim against his employer.

What about employees and workers under 18 years old

Anyone under 18 will need a parent or legal guardian to pursue the claim on their behalf.