David McWilliam

Partner, Solicitor and Head of Personal Injury & Sports Law

DATE PUBLISHED: 17 Jun 2022 LAST UPDATED: 21 Jun 2024

If I make a personal injury claim against my employer, will I lose my job?

We often find that individuals can be reluctant to bring a claim arising from an accident at work in case it results in them losing their job. Here, we will discuss the different employment relationships and the rights which each provides.

Ultimately, your employer cannot legally prevent you from bringing a personal injury claim.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and secure working environment for all staff. They owe a duty of care towards all staff under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. If that duty is breached which results in injury or illness, there would likely be grounds for you to claim compensation by way of a personal injury claim.

Your rights as an Employee:

Pursuing a personal injury claim will not affect your employment rights.

An employee with over 2 years’ service is protected from unfair dismissal. This means that they can only be dismissed for a fair reason and a full and fair process must be carried out. If an employee is dismissed for bringing or contemplating a personal injury claim, this would likely amount to an unfair dismissal.

If an employee is dismissed due to raising health and safety complaints, this will likely amount to an automatic unfair dismissal. Employees do not need 2 years’ service to pursue a claim for automatic unfair dismissal.

If an employee is treated differently by his/her employer resulting in a breakdown of the relationship which is due to them bringing a personal injury claim, then this could amount to a breach of the implied terms in the employment relationship and could result in a constructive dismissal. This is where the employer has committed a fundamental breach of contract which entitles an employee to accept the breach, resign and treat herself/himself as being constructively dismissed.

Your rights as a Worker:

You only have the right to claim unfair dismissal if you are an employee.

However, a worker has the right not to be subjected to a detriment on the grounds relating to health and safety. This applies to workers in two instances:-

  • Leaving work in the face of serious and imminent danger; and
  • Taking protective steps to avert serious or imminent danger.

The right not to be dismissed on health and safety grounds only applies to employees.

Self-Employed rights:

Self-Employed individuals do not have the same rights as employees or workers. However, they do have protection in respect of health and safety.

We can answer any concerns that you may have if you have been injured in an accident at work.

How can Ellis Jones help?

If you have an enquiry regarding a potential personal injury or employment claim following an accident in the workplace, please call our experienced team of solicitors on 01202 525333 or email david.mcwilliam@ellisjones.co.uk or Rebecca.Goudy@ellisjones.co.uk for a free initial specialist consultation.

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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