If a work-related illness has set you back, we'll help you move forward

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a work related illness, we can help. If your illness were caused by your employer or a co-worker, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

You can make a No Win, No Fee work illness compensation claim with the help and support of a work injury solicitor.

With almost 2 million people affected by illness related to their work, you are not alone

The HSE found that 1.8 million Britons were suffering from work-related ill health in 2022-23 (hse.gov.uk).

Work-related illness (sometimes referred to as 'industrial disease' or 'occupational disease') describes an illness or health condition caused by:

  • an accident at work,
  • unsafe working conditions, or,
  • exposure to hazardous materials in the workplace.

If you decide to make a compensation claim for a work-related illness, your solicitor will take you through every step of the claims process. Your solicitor will be with you until you win your claim and get the compensation you need to move forward.

Read more:

Work accident injury claims

Am I entitled to make a work-related illness claim?

In general, you can claim compensation if you were hurt:

  • within the last 3 years, and;
  • another person was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.

Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.

What if I was partially at fault?

Personal injury claims where both the defendant and claimant share some responsibility are relatively common.

In our recent 2024 Work Injury Claimant Survey, 26.02% of injured workers thought they could be partially to blame for their accident.

You could still have a valid claim if you were partly to blame for your injury or illness. If you were injured at work, you can claim compensation from your employer even if you or a co-worker caused the accident.

Read more:

Can I claim if I feel I was partly responsible for my accident?

How long after a work-related illness diagnosis do I have to claim compensation?

An injury claim will usually need to be made within 3 years of the date or your accident or injury.

If your injury or illness is not immediately apparent, the 3-year time limit starts from the date that you injury or illness was diagnosed and your were informed of the likely caused.

How much compensation can I claim for a work-related illness?

The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:

  • the seriousness of your injury, and
  • any financial losses or costs you have incurred.

At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.

Work-related illness compensation calculator

Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.

Updated June 2024 Compensation Calculator v3.04

General damages

General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).

Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College (judiciary.uk) and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.

How is compensation calculated if I have multiple injuries?

Special damages

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred because of your accident. In addition to paying for lost wages, bonuses, benefits and other perks, special damages can cover any care costs and medical procedures you need, such as medical monitoring, psychological support and pain medication.

Read more:

A complete list of recoverable losses in a personal injury claim

Where does the law stand on work-related illnesses?

There is a large body of legislation, recommended protocols, and case law, that determines how specific work-related illness claims are handled. Specific examples include:

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

COSHH (hse.gov.uk) specifically deals with the risks from hazardous substances in the workplace.

The regulations require employers to assess the risk of exposure to hazardous substances and implement appropriate control measures. This is particularly relevant for preventing work-related illnesses caused by chemical and biological agents.

Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022

These regulations came into force on 6 April 2022. Employers have an obligation to provide free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers, including workers who are self-employed or on a zero-hours contract.

Under the previous 1992 regulations, employers were only required to provide PPE to employees with a formal employment contract.

If you are injured at work and your employer (or third party responsible for your working conditions) failed to provide you with suitable PPE, you may be entitled to claim compensation - even if you are self-employed.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (hse.gov.uk) set out employers' duties concerning the provision and use of PPE) at work.

Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979

The Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979 (legislation.gov.uk) entitles employees exposed to asbestos under certain conditions to lump-sum payments.

Who is legally responsible for my work-related illness?

Your employer has a legal duty of care to provide you with a safe working environment. An employer's duty is defined by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), as:

"a duty of care to their employees, which means that they should take all steps which are reasonably possible to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing."

If your employer has breached this duty of care, and you have sustained injury or illness as a result, you may be able to claim compensation. An example of such a breach would be if your employer was previously informed of the risk, but they failed to take action within a reasonable time frame.

It may not even be necessary for an employer to have prior knowledge of the specific cause of your illness if, for example, they failed to carry out regular risk assessments of your workplace.

Can I claim compensation for an illness caused by another member of staff?

A workplace accident claim may be made against a negligent employer in the event that one of their employees causes harm in the course of their employment, due to the principle of vicarious liability.

Vicarious liability claims for workplace illness are likely to be less common than for work accidents. However, in circumstances where another member of staff has caused your illness, whether due to negligence or recklessness, you may be able to make a claim against your employer.

By law, your employer must have insurance to cover the cost of your compensation, whereas an individual employee is unlikely to be able to afford to pay compensation themselves.

Can I make a work-related illness claim against multiple employers?

You may have developed a work-related illness due to the conditions in one job or in the course of working for a number of employers over several years.

A claim against multiple employers may also be made in cases where you were exposed to hazardous substances multiple times over the course of multiple jobs, and it is not clear which exposure incident specifically caused the resulting illness. This is a common factor in asbestos-related claims.

Claiming against multiple employers is also common in cases where poor working conditions, or risk of exposure to hazardous materials, was endemic across an industry.

Your solicitor will advise on whether you should bring a claim against multiple employers and will conduct the necessary legal work to ensure all relevant former employers and their insurers are identified.

To make a compensation claim, the working conditions or exposure to dangerous materials needs to:

  • be the cause of your injuries
  • be due an employer's actions or negligence
  • have taken place, or been brought to your attention, within the last 3 years

The personal injury solicitor must demonstrate that, on the balance of probabilities, your employer at the time was legally responsible for the accident, and that your illness resulted from the accident.

An employee can still be compensated for illness if responsibility is shared by the employer and the employee, such as in cases where the claimant worked in unsafe conditions but could have done more to protect themselves from harm. Generally, these claims are resolved with a split liability agreement.

What if the company you worked for no longer exists?

Claims can often be made even where an employer has ceased trading or has declared bankruptcy. The Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 makes it a legal requirement that companies insure against employee injury or illness.

The Employers' Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) is a not-for-profit company that holds a historic database of the insurers used by employers. Solicitors use the ELTO database to track down insurers responsible for companies that have been bought out, changed ownership, or otherwise ceased trading.

Can I claim compensation if I have a non-industrial occupation?

The HSE has stated that their report 'substantially underestimates' the number of illnesses sustained in non-industrial workplaces. Skin and dermatological conditions, for example, commonly affect cleaners, hairdressers, gardeners, and kitchen staff. Employees may not be aware that their illness relates to their work.

Whether you were made ill from working in a factory, office, or shop, if your illness resulted from your employer's negligence, a compensation claim may be possible.

What types of occupational illness have Quittance helped with?

Navigating claimants through the claims process to achieve a successful settlement for work-related illness, Quittance's personal injury experts have acted for claimants injured in a wide range of circumstances.

  • mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases
  • lung cancer and lung disease
  • Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and other hearing-related injuries
  • Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
  • bursitis claims
  • silicosis
  • dermatitis
  • musculoskeletal injuries, including back and neck pain
  • occupational dermatitis and other skin conditions caused by exposure to hazardous substances

Quittance's network of expert solicitors will answer any questions you have and will run through your options before you decide to make a claim.

Employers' liability claims claims

Work-related illness claims are also known as employers' liability claims. Click on the icons below for more information:

No win, no fee work-related illness compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim work-related illness compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

Get expert advice now

Interested in talking to a workplace illness specialist about your claim?

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  • No obligation to claim

Call 0800 376 1001

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Citations

Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director