In 2013/14 it is reported that over 1 million people were suffering from a work-related illness.
One of the first questions a person will ask when they are faced with the prospect of being unable to work through no fault of their own is: Am I entitled to Sick Pay?
Key figures for Great Britain (2013/2014) revealed:
- 1.2 million working people were suffering from a work related illness/injury.
- 78,000 other injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR.
- 692,000 injuries at work from the Labour Force Survey.
- 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
- £14.2 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2012/2013)
If you have a contract of employment with your employer, then you will almost certainly be entitled to some kind of sickness pay providing you earn at least £112 (before tax) per week. You will need to check your contract of employment to find out exactly how much you are entitled to.
A lot of companies offer their employees their own sick pay scheme which may be more beneficial than others. A company is not required to provide such a scheme; therefore it can often be the case that an employee is paid a lesser wage during the course of their absence due to illness/injury.
In the event a scheme is not available, you will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) providing you are eligible under government law. You will need to be an employee (i.e. have a contract of employment) and have done some work for your employer. The current rate is £88.45 per week, which granted, will not be what you are used to, but it may make a huge difference in comparison to receiving nothing at all. It is important to note that the SSP does not begin until the 4th consecutive day that you’re required to take off work. As a result, you are unlikely to be paid anything for the first 3 days you are off work.
In order to remain eligible to receive SSP you also need to inform your employer that you are sick/ injured. With regards to injuries sustained in the workplace this will not normally be an issue, but most employers will have their own deadlines for you to inform them of this, which will usually be the same day, and the maximum length of time you can wait is 7 days. A delay in notifying your employer of your sickness or injury may result in any sickness pay, whether by scheme or SSP, being withheld. You may also find yourself facing disciplinary proceedings; therefore it is important you notify your employer straight away.
Sickness pay is usually the same regardless of whether the reason for absence is illness or injury. There can be exceptions depending on whether your employer has a separate scheme for work related injuries.
The recovery of earnings lost as a result of an accident at work can be included as part of a Personal Injury Claim against your employer. This can also include loss of overtime and loss of earnings for self-employed workers. Ensure you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity, as claims will usually be limited to a period of 3 years from the date of the incident which caused the injury.
At CH Legal we can provide assistance in relation to any of your employment queries, and also provide the necessary assistance to help you make a claim against your employer. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any of your requirements.