Getting Signed Off Work For A Workplace Injury – Injury At Work Advice

By Danielle Newton. Last Updated 31st July 2023. This guide can provide more information about getting signed off work for a workplace injury. We will explain when you need to attain a sick note for your employer and clarify how you may be able to claim for a workplace injury caused by employer negligence. We also provide more general injury at work advice. 

getting signed off work for a workplace injury

A guide about getting signed off work for a workplace injury

Furthermore, this guide will answer such questions as, “what are you entitled to if you are injured at work?” and “are you entitled to full pay if injured at work?” Our 24/7 advisors are available at any time that suits you to answer any of your queries. They can tell if you’re eligible to claim for an accident at work and could even provide you with a compensation estimate. 

Additionally, they can also connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel who specialises in these types of claims. They could work your case under a No Win No Fee agreement. Contact us at a time that suits you using the below details. 

Please continue reading to see if you can claim for a sickness absence

Select A Section

  1. Signed Off Work – Workplace Injuries
  2. How Do I Obtain A Fit Note?
  3. You May Be Placed On Statutory Sick Pay
  4. Returning To Work After Being Signed Off
  5. What Are You Entitled To If You Are Injured At Work?
  6. Advice For Making A Claim
  7. Find Out More About Getting Signed Off Work For A Workplace Injury

Signed Off Work – Workplace Injuries

If you have been signed off work because of a workplace injury that was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Getting signed off from work will often involve attaining what’s called a fit note (also known as a Statement of Fitness to Work or sick notes). Further on in this guide, we’ll explain more about what’s required to get a sick note for work-related stress or other work injuries.

In order to successfully claim compensation for a work injury, you must have evidence that you were injured due to the negligence of a party who owed you a duty of care, such as your employer. Employers are legally required to take reasonably practicable measures to protect their employees at work. If your employer breaches the duty of care they owe you, this could lead to you being signed off work due to an injury or illness sustained.

In the UK, your employer’s duty of care is outlined in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. We will explain more about how negligence from your employer can be established later in this guide. Please get in touch with our advisors if you would like to speak to us for advice about work injury claims.

How Do I Obtain A Fit Note? 

A fit note is only required in specific circumstances. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, for example, that only results in you being off work for seven days or less, your employer should not ask for medical evidence proving your condition. 

However, if you’re sick for seven days or more, your employer will usually ask for proof that you’ve been signed off work. This comes in the form of a fit note. A hospital doctor or GP can provide this. They will assess your condition and determine if, in their professional opinion, you’re able to return to work. 

Your condition can determine the length of potential recovery time given in the fit note. For example, if you’re suffering from mental health issues due to work-related stress, your GP may provide you with one that lasts for several weeks or months. In the first six months of your condition, a GP can provide a fit note covering three months. If your condition lasts longer than six months, a fit note can be for any period of time that is deemed clinically appropriate. 

You May Be Placed On Statutory Sick Pay

An understandable question after getting signed off work for a workplace injury relates to the pay you could receive. There isn’t a requirement for employers to provide you with full pay if you’re off work sick. However, you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) under certain circumstances. 

To qualify for SSP, you need to:

  • Be an ’employee’, having done some work for your employer. 
  • Earn, on average, at least £120 a week
  • Have been ill for at least four days in a row

When counting the number of days that you’re experiencing sickness, it’s important to include weekends. Therefore, the four days in a row mentioned above can also include a Saturday or Sunday. 

Furthermore, as explained in more detail below, you could claim for lost wages as part of a personal injury claim if you can prove that your injury was caused by employer negligence. To learn more about this, please contact our team of advisors, who can tell you quickly and easily if you’re eligible to claim. Contact us using the above details. 

Returning To Work After Being Signed Off

As previously mentioned, it’s generally required that you have a fit note when getting signed off work for a workplace injury for longer than seven days. However, when seeking a statement of fitness, there are two options that the medical professional could recommend. Firstly, they could request you to be on lighter duties due to your workplace accident. Secondly, they could state that you’re unable to work. 

It’s important to note that if your employer cannot provide you with appropriate duties in line with the medical professional’s advice, you’re effectively signed off work. This would be until they’re either able to do this or you’re well enough to continue your role as you were before. 

Furthermore, you can actually return to work before the end of your fit note if you feel you’re well enough to do so. You will need to discuss this with your employer to ensure they can make any required adjustments. If they cannot accommodate your current mental or physical state, you would need to remain off work until the end of the fit note. 

You also don’t need a note to confirm that you’re fit for work. You will only need to see your GP again if you feel you haven’t fully recovered from the work-related injury within the fit note’s designated time period. 

What Are You Entitled To If You Are Injured At Work?

As previously mentioned, to make a successful workplace injury claim, you need to prove that your injury was caused by employer negligence. If you can show that this caused your injury, you could receive compensation. There are two types of compensation you could receive. 

The pain and suffering caused by the injury can be compensated for through general damages. The amount you could receive through this is determined by factors such as:

  • The extent of your injury
  • The length of your recovery time
  • Whether any permanent health issues or symptoms have been caused

The Judicial College provides further insight into what you could receive. From analysing previous payouts, they’ve created compensation brackets by comparing the payout with the extent and severity of the injury. 

You can see examples of the information they provide below. However, please remember that this information only indicates what you could receive as every claim is unique and judged independently of the ones that have come before. 

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Type of Injury Severity Amount of Compensation Description
Leg Severe (i) £96,250 to £135,920 This category is for the most serious leg injuries that don’t involve amputation. Such injuries will cause extensive degloving of the leg, where there could be gross shortening of the leg.
Brain Moderate (iii) £43,060 to £90,720 Cases in this bracket lead to concentration and memory issues with the ability to work being reduced with a small epilepsy risk.
Back Severe (ii) £74,160 to £88,430 This category is for special features that take these injuries outside of lower brackets, including mobility impairment, sexual difficulties and unsightly scarring.
Hand Serious £29,000 to £61,910 Serious hand injuries like this result in the hand being reduced to 50% capacity.
Elbow Severely Disabling £39,170 to £54,830 This is for an elbow injury that is severely disabling.
Arm Less Severe £19,200 to £39,170 This category is for less serious arm injuries that will cause significant disabilities. However, recovery of a substantial degree will either have already occurred or will be expected to occur.
Knee Moderate (i) £14,840 to £26,190 This bracket includes injuries like dislocation, torn meniscus or cartilage causing symptoms like wasting, minor instability and weakness.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate £8,180 to £23,150 Cases in this bracket will lead to psychological issues after the incident. However, the injured person will have largely recovered. This is because there will be no grossly disabling continuing effects.
Shoulder Serious £12,770 to £19,200 Cases in this category include shoulder dislocation and lower brachial plexus damage leading to neck and shoulder pain.
Ankle Modest Up to £13,740 Minor or undisplaced fractures, sprains or ligamentous injuries.

If getting signed off work for a workplace injury has caused you financial losses, you may be able to claim for this through special damages. Financial losses you could claim for include:

  • Travel expenses
  • Private healthcare costs
  • Adjustments needed for your home

However, please remember that you would only receive compensation for special damages if you’re successful in seeking general damages. This is because, by not receiving general damages, the third party in question has been deemed not liable for your injuries. 

Claiming For Loss Of Earnings If You’re Self-Employed

You can still include a claim for loss of earnings as part of your personal injury case, even if you are self-employed. You are still owed the same duty of care as full-time workers. For example, if you are a subcontractor attending another workplace to carry out your duties. In these cases, the party in control of the premises owes you a duty of care. If they breached this and you can’t work due to injury, you could be eligible for compensation.

A full-time employee would have wage slips to prove their lost wages in a personal injury claim. However, a self-employed worker won’t have these. To prove your lost earnings, you should submit evidence. You may have your accounts, invoices or bank statements that can help prove your lost wages.

For further information about claiming for lost wages when you are self-employed, get in touch with one of the advisors from our team.

Advice For Making A Claim

Supporting evidence can help strengthen your claim. If you are looking to make a personal injury claim for a workplace injury, you can gather evidence such as:

Evidence of the negligence:

As discussed, your employer’s duty of care means they are required to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure employee safety in the workplace. If you were injured because of an unsafe workplace or task, you could gather evidence of the cause of your injury. This can come in the form of:

  • CCTV or photos: This could be either of the hazard or your injuries
  • Witnesses: Collect the contact details of witnesses, such as colleagues, who can corroborate your version of events
  • Work documents: Such as emails that could show your employer was not attending to hazards in your place of work.

Evidence of the injury:

Getting signed off work by a doctor will mean that your injuries have been assessed and confirmed. This can act as evidence of your injury in a claim; for example, a work-related stress sick note can help you make a claim for a psychological injury.

If you are looking for information about the evidence that could work best for your claim, please reach out to one of our advisors.

Injury At Work Advice – How Long Do I Have To Claim?

If a workplace accident resulted in getting signed off work, you may need injury at work advice, including on the accident at work claims time limit. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you will typically have three years following a workplace accident to start a claim. The time limit could also start from the date you connect your injuries to negligence.

However, certain circumstances will suspend the accident at work claims time limit. These include:

  • If the injured party suffered the injury while under the age of 18. As someone below the age of 18 cannot start a claim themselves, a litigation friend could start the claim on their behalf while the time limit is suspended. However, if a claim has not been started, the injured party will be given three years after they turn 18 to start a workplace accident claim themselves.
  • In the case of someone who suffers an injury in a workplace accident but lacks the mental capacity to start a claim themselves, the time limit is also suspended. If they do regain capacity later, the time limit will no longer be suspended, giving them three years to start a claim. However, a litigation friend can start a claim on their behalf at any time during the time limit’s suspension.

For free injury at work advice, call our advisors.

Find Out More About Getting Signed Off Work For A Workplace Injury

You may want more information about how a No Win No Fee personal injury solicitor from our panel could help you. Essentially, you would only pay your solicitor’s fee at the end of the claim. They would take a small amount of compensation that’s legally capped to cover their work. 

Furthermore, there would be no hidden fees. They would relay all potential costs to you before you agree to use their services. They would also be open and honest with you: they’d only take your case if they feel you have a good chance of success. 

Find Out More

Our 24/7 advisors are available at any time that works for you. They offer legal advice that is completely free on a no-obligation basis. They can inform you if you can claim and give you a compensation estimate. Additionally, they can connect you with a specialised solicitor from our panel who could help you seek compensation. Please contact us at a time that suits you using the below details. 

Workplace Injury Claim Resources

If you have any further queries about making a personal injury claim, please use the below links. 

Use this link to learn more about Statutory Sick Pay

You may be wondering, “what is considered reasonable adjustments by your employer?” If so, please read this article. 

The NHS provides medical guidance regarding fractures that you may find useful. 

If you’ve suffered a knee injury at work, read this article to see if you can claim. 

You could have further questions, such as “I had an accident at work, can I claim compensation?” Read this guide to see if you can. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning at work can have serious health consequences. To know more about this, please read this article. 

If you still have queries about getting signed off work for a workplace injury, please contact our advisors for completely free legal advice. You can contact them at any time using the above contact details. 

Article by AU 

Publisher UI