Workers' compensation is the idea that when an employee of a company is injured in the workplace as a result of hazards or poor training, he should be compensated financially for his recovery time, or if he is injured beyond returning to work, compensated for future losses or supported through retraining. Read this article to learn more about Workers' Compensation laws in the U.K.
In the UK
Many countries in the world include provisions for Workers' Compensation in their labor laws. In the UK, most employers are required per the Employer's Liability Act of 1969 to purchase compulsory liability insurance to cover injured workers.
What is compensation?
Employee compensation in the UK is overseen by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who manages the regulations and rules by which employers and employees are meant to govern themselves. While most employers in the UK are subject to the Employer's Liability Act, there are some which are exempt, including local authorities such as police branches, nationalised industries, certain publicly funded organisations, and some off-shore operations.
All others must have liability insurance of at least five million Euros to cover work accidents and resulting lawsuits, but the market standard is at least double that, especially in extremely hazardous workplaces like oil rigs and construction sites.
How to get compensation in the UK
If you feel you deserve financial compensation for an injury you suffered at work, it is your responsibility to show that the employer has a legal obligation to compensate you in the UK. Usually, you must show some kind of negligence or breach of duty on the employer's behalf. An attorney who specialises in labour or tort law can help to assess your case and provide you with compensation information.
Are you an employee?
To qualify for compensation, you must have suffered one or more workplace injuries and be considered an "employee" under the Workers' Compensation Act. This does not include individuals who are sub-contractors, those not employed in business activity, people related to the employer and temporary non-UK residents.
Depending on the insurance provider your employer works with, and which industry you work in, the process of making a claim may be easy, especially if a legal showing of employer negligence can be made. Most insurance companies will settle before undergoing expensive legal proceedings.
You may have additional benefits and protections if you are a member of a union, so you should speak to your union representative if you've been hurt.