Is it the employer that pays work injury compensation?

Many people hesitate before claiming compensation from their employer when they have been injured at work. Sometimes this is through loyalty to their employer, but often it is because they believe the person they work for will be left out of pocket by paying compensation.

Accidents at work happen

Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Safety standards and training vary according to the workplace, but are essential in reducing or preventing workplace injuries.

They include ensuring equipment is properly maintained and not faulty, and providing suitable protective clothing where required. Employees should be trained in the correct use of any equipment and be made aware of any potential hazards.

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

But, in spite of all precautions, accidents in the workplace do happen. For this reason, all employers and businesses are legally required to have employers' liability insurance in the event of an accident occurring at work. The insurance should also include employees when working away from their usual place of work.

Any claim for compensation for an injury sustained while at work is therefore made on the employer's insurance policy; not paid from the company's profits.

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How to make a claim

In the first instance the Claimant should claim against his employer who will pass the claim onto the insurance company. It will investigate the accident and pay the compensation.

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Will the insurance always cover the claim?

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

Also, 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.

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What if the employer doesn't have insurance?

Any company not holding employers' liability insurance that complies with the law may be fined. This can be up to £2,500 for any day it is without suitable insurance.

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Are there any exceptions?

Family businesses, where all the employees are closely related to the employer, are exempt from the Employers' Lliability (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.

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Who is eligible to make a claim?

Anyone who has been injured at work is entitled to make a claim for compensation; whether working full or part-time, seasonally or temporarily.

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

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

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Next steps

For more information about making a claim call us on 0800 612 7456 or complete an online form and we will call you back.

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