Will Brexit affect my workplace accident compensation claim?

Wed 24th Mar 2021

Coodes Solicitors’ paralegal Toby Konarzewski considers the impact of Brexit on a workplace accident compensation claim.

In January 2021, the Brexit transition period ended. This means that, since the UK has now left the EU, many rules have changed, particularly for those doing business with Europe.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 protects the health, safety and welfare of UK employees in the workplace. It sets out employers’ responsibilities to keep employees and members of the public safe and employee’s requirements protect the health and safety of themselves and others.

Like much other UK legislation, workplace health and safety regulations are an EU directive. While the Health and Safety at Work Act is a piece of UK legislation, it reflects the EU’s laws. As the UK is no longer in the EU, the Government is no longer bound by EU directives.

If you are in the process of seeking compensation following a workplace injury, you may therefore be wondering if Brexit will affect your claim.

Accidents in the workplace

As a result of strict health and safety regulations in workplaces across the UK, workplace accidents should be a rare occurrence. If you have suffered an injury at work that was not your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. If this is the case, you should seek legal advice as soon as you are able.

Your lawyer will investigate your claim to see if your employer was at fault as a result of breaching health and safety regulations. This could be because your employer did not provide adequate PPE, failed to maintain machinery or did not offer you appropriate training, for example.

Compensation can help make things easier for you financially, particularly if you have to take time off work, travel for your treatment or make alterations to your home because of your injury. The level of compensation you could receive depends on a number of factors, including gravity of your injury and how it has affected your life.

You usually have three years to make a compensation claim from the date of your accident, or when you were aware of it.

Could Brexit impact my claim?

At the moment, the short answer to this question is, no. There have not yet been any changes to health and safety laws in the workplace because of Brexit. However, we could see changes to this legislation in the future.

The workplace health and safety regulations that are currently in place do not have a binding effect in the UK. This means the UK Government could decide to take a different approach to health and safety in the future.

If the EU introduces new laws, the Government could choose not to follow suit and keep existing legislation in place, or perhaps bring about changes to current laws.

Any potential changes could have an effect on both employees and employers. On the one hand, changes could see an employer’s responsibilities increased, and, therefore, it would be easier for an employee to make a claim. On the other hand, other changes could potentially make it much harder for an employee to make a compensation claim for an injury they have suffered in the workplace.

Whatever happens, if you’ve had an accident at work, Coodes Solicitors’ expert Personal Injury lawyers can support and guide you throughout the entire process of claiming compensation. Our Personal Injury lawyers are APIL-accredited specialists and pride themselves on providing a sensitive and supportive service.

For more advice, please contact Toby Konarzewski in the Personal Injury team on 01326 213031 or at toby.konarzewski@coodes.co.uk

Wed 24th Mar 2021

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