Injured at Work – Will My Partner Get Full Pay?

Q.My partner works for a wine warehouse and as part of his job he drives the forklift. On Monday he was getting out of the forklift and slipped on the step, fell and dislocated his shoulder. He has been working there 18 years.

He will be off work for 3-6 weeks, is there any forms he needs to fill out, should he be paid and if so will he get his full money?

Ms Karen Winter, 16 March 2011

A.Your partner will almost certainly be entitled to receive some kind of ‘sick pay’ providing he earns at least £116 per week. However, the amount of money he will be entitled to will all depend on the terms and conditions of his Employment Contract.

Many companies will offer their own sick pay scheme which will usually be more generous than the state scheme. For example, some companies will allow employees to still receive their usual full income for a set period of time providing their sickness doesn’t exceed a certain number of days over an annual period.

Therefore, he needs to refer to his employment contract to see what the rules are on sick pay.

It’s important to point out, however, that a company isn’t obliged to have a separate scheme when it comes to sickness or injury. So, they are not obliged to pay him full pay whilst he is off work through his injury.

If they don’t have a scheme, he is, however, entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if he’s eligible under government law. The current rate is £92.05 per week although SSP does not begin until the 4th consecutive day you’re off work. Therefore, your partner might not be paid anything for the first 3 days he was off work.

If he only qualifies for SSP, he will be paid that by his employer in the usual manner in which he’d receive his wages and on the regular payday.

In terms of form filling, the first thing he should have done is to tell his employer on the day he became sick (in his case, injured) that he will be off work. The maximum length of time he can wait until he informs his employer is 7 days after he first came off work in order to qualify for SSP.

For the first week of sickness, he can ‘self-certify’ himself – that means he doesn’t need to produce a sick note from his doctor for the first week. He can either write a letter explaining his sickness or can complete form SC2 which is an ‘Employee’s Statement of Sickness’ which he can obtain from his GP or download from the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Beyond a week, however, a doctor’s note is normally required. The important thing here is that delay in informing an employer can mean SSP being withheld and there’s also the possibility of facing disciplinary action so it’s important he acts straight away.

One additional thing to note is that the amount of sick pay you receive is rarely affected by the fact that the injury occurred in the workplace unless the company has a separate scheme in place which covers workplace injuries. He could, however, possibly make a Personal Injury Claim against his employer but he should seek advice from either a trade union representative or his lawyer before considering taking any action of this kind.

Last Updated on 25 May 2021

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