How To Claim For A Work Accident During Your Probationary Period?

If you have been injured in an accident at work while still in your probationary period, you may be worried about your rights. This guide shall explain what action you could take if you have an accident during your probationary period at work and suffer an injury through no fault of your own. 

Within the sections below you’ll find useful information about your rights as a probationary employee, the responsibility your employer has towards your health and safety at work, and what action you could take if you are injured at work during your probationary period. You will also find guidance on potential compensation payouts, as well as information on how to get an eligibility check for your specific situation to see if you could claim compensation. 

If you need any further information on anything contained in the guide below, please do not hesitate to call our helpline on 0161 696 9685.

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A Guide To Claims For A Work Accident During Your Probationary Period

Accident at work during probationary period

Accident at work during probationary period

Whether you are working under a standard 3-month probationary period, or your probation period is of a different length, you still have some rights at work. Your employer, whether you are on probation or not, has the same legal obligation to protect your health and safety at work as they would if you had been working at the company for several years. If they fail to take reasonable actions to protect your health and safety and this leads to an accident and resulting injuries during your probationary period,  you could be eligible to claim compensation for this.

The sections below contain useful information about your workplace rights as a probationary employee. Also included is information regarding workplace accidents and how your employer could be held liable for such accidents. We also offer insight into compensation payout amounts if you are injured at work during a probation period and explain why your employer could not legally fire you because you were claiming compensation against them.

What Are Workplace Probationary Periods?

A workplace probationary period is, in essence, somewhat of a safety net for an employer. It is a period of time for the employer to assess the employee’s suitability for the role so that they can ensure they have taken on someone who can do the job in question. It is usually mutually agreed prior to a job being offered to a prospective employee. A probation period could be beneficial for an employee too. If they felt that the job wasn’t suitable for them before the end of the probation period, they could potentially walk away from the role without having committed to giving a lengthy notice period.

When Are Probationary Periods Used?

Probationary periods are usually used when taking on a new employee, but employers could also consider using them when they are considering a job swap or promotion for an employee. Usually, if an employee was given a probationary period for a promotion or transfer within the company, they would not have the right to have their old job back should the probationary period not result in them being appointed to the new role.

What Counts As A Workplace Accident Or Injury?

All employees have the right to be kept as safe as could be considered reasonably possible while they are at work. Employers have a legal duty to protect the safety and health of their employees, whether they are on their probationary period or not.

Some of how they could do so could include:

  • Risk assessing the workplace and the tasks that an employee would be required to undertake
  • Highlighting the risks and taking measures to protect employees, such as:
  • Providing safety training
  • Providing protective equipment
  • Ensuring the workplace was free of removable hazards
  • Allowing regular breaks from repetitive work
  • Ensuring all equipment is checked and maintained so it’s fit for use

This could help to reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace. If your employer fails to take care of your health and safety to a reasonable level and you are injured in an accident during your probationary period, your employer could be held liable and you could claim compensation for your injuries.

The most common types of accidents in the workplace in 2018/19, according to the HSE, included:

  • Falls, trips or slips – 29%
  • Lifting, carry and handling – 20%
  • Being struck by a moving object – 10%
  • Violent acts – 8%
  • Falls from heights – 8%

Whether your workplace accident was caused by one of the above, or you were injured during your probationary period in another way, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

Probationary Employee Rights

One of the more common questions regarding this type of claim could be ‘I was injured at work, what are my rights?’ Below, we’ll take you through some of the rights that could be relevant if you have been injured at work during your probationary period.

  • The right to seek medical advice – If you have been injured during your probation period, you have the same right as any other employee to seek medical attention. While most workplaces would have a first aid officer on-site, you may also seek advice and treatment from a GP or hospital.
  • The right to record what’s happened – You have the right to report to your employer, in writing, the accident and injury you have suffered. You may wish to ensure that the accident book has been filled in to record the details of your accident.
  • The right to confirm your sick pay – Can you take days off during a probation period? If you cannot perform your duties because of your injuries then you should speak to your employer and notify them of this. You have a right to ask what provisions are in place for your pay while you are away from work. You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay or your employer might have a sick pay scheme that would entitle you to more pay. This should be put in writing to you.
  • The right to go to medical appointments – If you require any treatment or check-ups on your return to work after a workplace accident, you should have the right to attend such appointments.

If you are at all unsure as to your rights after being injured at work during your probationary period, our team would be happy to help you.

When Dismissal During A Probationary Period Is Unfair

You may be worried about your employment rights during a probationary period if you have been injured in the workplace and are considering making a claim.

It may be of interest for you to know that if an act of discrimination against you leads to you being dismissed, even as a probationary employee, you could claim unfair dismissal. Your employer would be deemed to have acted unfairly if they fired you because of your:

  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Age

In addition to this, your employer would not be allowed to dismiss you if you brought a claim against them. As long as the claim you are making is a valid one, and you have been honest in your version of events, an employer can not take disciplinary action against you for pursuing your legal right to claim compensation for employer negligence. If they were to attempt to do so, alongside your claim for personal injury, you could also take legal action against them for unfair dismissal.

When Employers Can Dismiss You During Probationary Periods

If you were injured in an accident during your probationary period, you may be worried about claiming in case your employer dismisses you. While there are many reasons an employer could dismiss a worker during their probation period, making a claim for compensation for a workplace accident where the employer could be held liable would not be one of them.

The reasons an employer could consider dismissing a worker before the probationary period is completed could include:

  • The staff member not having the correct skills to perform the work required
  • Gross misconduct
  • Persistent lateness
  • Extended absences due to sickness

Sickness Dismissal During Probationary Periods

If an employee is taking time off to recover from a non-work-related illness or injury, it could be possible for an employer to dismiss them during the probationary period. An assessment should be conducted to ensure that the injury or illness is not work-related before such dismissal could take place. An employer should, however, consider making reasonable adjustments to a workplace/job if the person is classed as disabled to help them return to work. These adjustments could include:

  • Allowing the employee to take breaks regularly
  • Offering places to park closer to the workplace
  • Reorganising job roles
  • Providing equipment
  • Allowing flexible working practices

According to ACAS, even probationary employees should be entitled to one week’s statutory notice if they have been employed for over a month and up to 2 years. Although it is not a requirement to provide notice to probationary employees that have been employed for less than a month, it is considered good practice for employers to do so.

Calculating Compensation For A Work Accident During Your Probationary Period

If you have been injured during your probationary period in an accident at work that was not your fault, you may be wondering what level of compensation you could be looking to receive for your injury. You may even be looking for a personal injury claims calculator to give you this information. It would be prudent for us to mention, however, that any figures given by a claims calculator would only be approximate, as your claim would only be given a value once all the medical evidence had been collected and assessed. Anyone looking to make a personal injury claim for an accident at work during a probation period would be required to see an independent medical expert for such medical evidence to be put together.

To give you some idea of the amounts of compensation that could be appropriate for specific workplace injuries, we’ve put together a table with guideline payout amounts provided by the Judicial College. These guidelines are devised by examining the compensation awards made by the courts for different injuries. We could not cover every injury in the workplace you could suffer, but if you don’t see your injury in the table below, we could offer you some further insight into guideline payouts for injuries over the phone.

InjuryGuideline Payout BracketNotes
Head injury (minor)£2,070 to £11,980Cases would be calculated based on how severe the injury was, whether headaches are a consequence, how long the symptoms last, and more.
Serious Shoulder Injuries£11,980 to £18,020Injuries to the brachial plexus and shoulder dislocation. Sensory symptoms could present in the hand and forearm, and grip may be weakened. Soft tissue injuries with permanent intrusive symptoms could fall into this bracket.
Serious hand injuries£27,220 to £58,100The hand would only likely retain around 50% of its original use. This could include amputation of several fingers.
Severe finger fracturesUp to £34,480Leading to potential amputation and grip deformity, reduced function and sensation disturbances.
Moderate leg injuries£26,050 to £36,790Fractures (multiple/complex) or crush injuries could be included here. The employment impact, any residual symptoms, loss of function or degenerative changes would be assessed to calculate claims in this bracket.
Severe toe injuries£12,900 to £29,770Crush injuries that are severe enough to warrant the amputation of one or two of the toes, not including the great toe.
Great toe amputation£29,380 N/A
Loss of sight in one eye£46,240 to £51,460Complete, with some sympathetic opthalmia.
Significant scarring (face)£8,550 to £28,240Worst effects would have been reduced via plastic surgery. Psychological reaction would not be severe.
Scarring (non facial)£7,350 to £21,330A number of noticeable scars or one single scar that is disfiguring to the arms, hands, legs, back or chest

Special Damages Which You Could Claim If Injured At Work?

As well as being compensated for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity experienced because of your injuries, it’s also possible to claim for any financial losses or expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. Such costs may include: :

  • Care costs – If you required care at home or help with day to day tasks such as dressing, washing, or cooking, these costs could be included as part of an injury at work claim
  • Medical expenses – Costs ranging from prescription fees to private physiotherapy could also form part of your claim
  • Travel expenses – If you have needed to pay for transport to medical appointments, for example, you could include these within your claim.
  • Income losses -If your injury in the workplace saw you lose out on wages, for example, because you are put on Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to claim for these losses.

Why Choose Our Team To Help With Your Claim?

Legal Helpline was specifically created to provide those who have suffered personal injury advice on whether they could take action and claim compensation. We have years of experience in providing eligibility checks for claimants who may have been injured at work during a probationary period, and we could assess whether you could be eligible to claim compensation. We could also provide advice specific to your situation.

If we think you could have a strong claim, we could even help connect you with an accident claims solicitor, who could then help build a claim for your accident in the workplace. All of the solicitors we work with strive to achieve the maximum amount of compensation possible and will expertly guide you through the legal process, explaining legal jargon along the way. And if at any time you have a query or would like an update, they’ll be on hand to take your call. 

In short, we could take some of the stress and worry out of making a claim. All the advice we provide is free of charge, and you don’t have to use our services to benefit from our guidance. We aim to put our customers first, every step of the way, and if you see what previous clients have had to say about our service, you could be reassured that we deliver on what we promise.

No Win No Fee Claims For A Work Accident During Your Probationary Period

Making a claim for an accident during your probationary period could be complex, and whether you’re still recovering from your experience, or you’ve now fully recovered, you might not wish to make a claim without some help. This is why many people may turn to the services of a professional personal injury solicitor when they are looking to make a claim.

A personal injury solicitor would not only be able to assist you with building a strong case, but they would also be capable of advising you on whether any offers of compensation you might have received would be suitable or whether you should carry on fighting for a higher payout.

You may be under the impression that you would always have to pay for such legal services. You may be interested to know that there is a way for you to launch a claim without paying legal fees until your case is concluded.

These are known as No Win No Fee claims. You would, initially, be required to sign an agreement, often referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement. The purpose of this is to give you the financial security and confidence to pursue a claim. You will not be asked to pay any fees upfront or during your claim, and if your case is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any of the fees your solicitor has incurred in pursuing your claim. If your case is successful, your solicitor may seek a small contribution toward their fees. This is known as a success fee and would be deducted from the compensation you are awarded at the end of the case. Don’t worry, the success fee is legally capped!  

We understand that you might have a few questions about how this all works. We are happy to talk through this type of claim in more detail over the phone.

Speak To Legal Helpline

Here at Legal Helpline, we have assisted many people claim for injuries sustained as a result of accidents at work, and we’re here to provide actionable advice and guidance if you’ve been injured during your probationary period. Not only could our advisors offer a free eligibility check for your claim, or answer questions on your rights, but we could also help connect you with a lawyer who could take your case on a No Win No Fee basis. We can be reached in a variety of ways. If you’d like to leave us a message and have us get back to you, you can use the contact form, or e-mail us on claims@legalhelpline.co.uk. Or, you could opt for a quick chat with our live chat advisors. Alternatively, why not call us on 0161 696 9685? We’d be happy to help you!

Probationary Employee Resources

West Of England Combined Authority Resource – This information pack was created in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions and offers advice on probationary periods.

Do You Qualify For SSP? – If you’re wondering whether you could be eligible to claim SSP if you are off work, then this resource may help.

Workers Health And Safety – This HSE resource has links to a number of useful pieces of information regarding workers health and safety.

 

Guide by JS

Edited by REG