COVID and the law: Can I make a COVID compensation claim against my employer?
Personal injury specialist Carly Sylvester is currently helping a number of clients who are making a COVID compensation claim against their employer due to their employer’s failure to implement and enforce COVID-19 safety measures.
She is representing clients who work in a range of different industries, including:
- Public services;
- Food production; and
- Transport and logistics.
A failure by employers to take reasonable steps to protect their workforce or follow government recommendations is likely to result in them becoming legally liable and facing a COVID compensation claim.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our understanding of the virus was more limited than it is today, and the issue of what safety procedures should be adopted by employers was often unclear. However, government agencies soon published guidance for employers to follow to ensure that their employees were kept safe while at work.
While we have found that employers are usually able to demonstrate that an initial risk assessment was carried out, a significant number are unable to provide any evidence that measures were implemented or enforced thereafter, resulting in COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace.
The long-term effects of COVID-19 are still unknown, but the vast majority of our clients have been diagnosed with ‘long COVID’ a diagnosis that includes symptoms such as memory loss, breathing difficulties, mobility issues and sleep apnea. As a direct result of these health problems they have been unable to return to work.
Employers remain under a duty to protect employees
The Prime Minister announced the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions on 24 February 2022. Since that date employees are no longer required self-isolate if they display symptoms. However, employers continue to owe their employees a duty of care. Employers must continue to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace, in accordance with the guidance issued by the HSE. Employers should continue to ensure there is sufficient cleaning of the premises, adequate ventilation and personal hygiene facilities available for all employees.
Find out if you have a COVID claim
In order to have a successful COVID claim as an employee you must be able to show that you contracted COVID-19 as a direct result of your employer’s lack of care.
If you wish to make a claim, we will need to look at how your employer failed to protect you, such as not providing adequate PPE, failing to implement social distancing measures or not implementing guidance on wearing face masks.
No Win No Fee funding
We deal with COVID compensation claims on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means that if your case is unsuccessful, for whatever reason, then you will not be required to pay any legal fees.
If you have been infected by COVID-19 because an employer has not protected you then contact us on 0333 888 0404 or via email at [email protected] for a free case assessment.