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  • FIRST POST
    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 2nd Aug 18, 2:02 PM
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    Cotta
    Direct Report Injured at work then Sacked.
    • #1
    • 2nd Aug 18, 2:02 PM
    Direct Report Injured at work then Sacked. 2nd Aug 18 at 2:02 PM
    Hi All,

    A office administrator who reports directly to me a few months ago was told by my boss she had to perform some cleaning duties including high ledge windows, from what I understand she was not given a ladder which was required for the job. The girl in question subsequently fell and broke her arm, my boss was unperturbed about this and the girl was not allowed time off to recuperate with the exception of two half days for hospital appointments which she was signed out for (not sure if she was paid). This week her plaster was removed and yesterday she was subsequently called into the office and sacked by my boss being deemed "unsuitable"; she was here around six months. She has now went to her solicitor about the injury who has made contact with us, I personally feel I am not responsible for any of this and my name should not be involved in the case. Apparently our case has been made worse from not allowing her paid time off and dismissing her the week her plaster was removed. My boss has said not to worry as nothing will come from this and she has no case, however should I be concerned my name is being used at all?

    Thanks in advance
Page 3
    • Rosemary7391
    • By Rosemary7391 3rd Aug 18, 4:19 PM
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    Rosemary7391
    You know, for someone who wasn't there and who this has nothing at all to do with, got are taking an awful lot of interest in what he thinks and whether it's true or not.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I'd guess the OP is interested in (in no particular order):
    • Their potential liability in this claim (admittedly now dealt with)
    • How things should be done if they end up responsible for such things in a future job
    • Their probable job security in their current role
    Slinkies 2018 Challenge - 0/80lb lost
    • James1968
    • By James1968 5th Aug 18, 12:57 PM
    • 64 Posts
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    James1968
    At the end of the day, the claim will be paid out by his insurers.

    I would suggest anonymously tipping-off HSE about the accident. Nothing like a visit from them to concentrate his mind on matters of safety.
    • Hootie19
    • By Hootie19 5th Aug 18, 2:48 PM
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    Hootie19
    I'd guess the OP is interested in (in no particular order):
    • Their potential liability in this claim (admittedly now dealt with)
    • How things should be done if they end up responsible for such things in a future job
    • Their probable job security in their current role
    Originally posted by Rosemary7391
    Given the level of interest in "what happens to the boss", I'm more leaning to the theory that the OP *is* the boss and is now coming to the realisation that they've made a monumental c*ck up!!
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 5th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
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    lincroft1710
    At the end of the day, the claim will be paid out by his insurers.
    Originally posted by James1968
    The employer's cavalier approach does suggest he may not have suitable insurance cover
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 5th Aug 18, 4:43 PM
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    sangie595
    Given the level of interest in "what happens to the boss", I'm more leaning to the theory that the OP *is* the boss and is now coming to the realisation that they've made a monumental c*ck up!!
    Originally posted by Hootie19
    I'd be careful saying things like that. I said the same thing yesterday. See if you can find the post! Which only, to my mind, suggests there's some substance to the speculation.
    • Smellyonion
    • By Smellyonion 5th Aug 18, 5:03 PM
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    Smellyonion
    Hope the scumbag gets what is coming to them.

    The employee did nothing wrong in this situation.

    A) cleaning windows is not part of her role
    B)if it is was, appropriate training, risk assessments, equipment should have been given.
    C) her injury was through incompetence by the employer.

    She would have an injury claim even if she wasn't fired. She can also claim unfair dismissal.

    Imagine telling an employee to do a job that isn't in their remit without proper training or equipment then getting injured and then being sacked?

    She will get every penny out of the employer.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 5th Aug 18, 5:09 PM
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    sangie595
    Hope the scumbag gets what is coming to them.

    The employee did nothing wrong in this situation.

    A) cleaning windows is not part of her role
    B)if it is was, appropriate training, risk assessments, equipment should have been given.
    C) her injury was through incompetence by the employer.

    She would have an injury claim even if she wasn't fired. She can also claim unfair dismissal.

    Imagine telling an employee to do a job that isn't in their remit without proper training or equipment then getting injured and then being sacked?
    She will get every penny out of the employer.
    Originally posted by Smellyonion
    She has less than two years service, so no, she can't claim unfair dismissal.
    • Smellyonion
    • By Smellyonion 5th Aug 18, 5:40 PM
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    Smellyonion
    She has less than two years service, so no, she can't claim unfair dismissal.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Theres no qualifying period for health and safety.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 6th Aug 18, 5:45 AM
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    marlot
    Hope the scumbag gets what is coming to them.

    The employee did nothing wrong in this situation.

    A) cleaning windows is not part of her role
    B)if it is was, appropriate training, risk assessments, equipment should have been given.
    C) her injury was through incompetence by the employer.

    She would have an injury claim even if she wasn't fired. She can also claim unfair dismissal.

    Imagine telling an employee to do a job that isn't in their remit without proper training or equipment then getting injured and then being sacked?

    She will get every penny out of the employer.
    Originally posted by Smellyonion
    You missed that the poor lady came in to work even when injured.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 6th Aug 18, 9:53 AM
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    Undervalued
    This is mostly nonsense!

    Hope the scumbag gets what is coming to them.

    The employee did nothing wrong in this situation. You don't know that.

    A) cleaning windows is not part of her role
    Pretty much any employment contract says something to the effect of "such other duties as the employer may require"

    B)if it is was, appropriate training, risk assessments, equipment should have been given.
    Maybe


    C) her injury was through incompetence by the employer.
    You certainly don't know that. Just because appropriate training wasn't provided (apparently maybe) it doesn't absolve her of any personal responsibility for her own safety. Your employer probably hasn't trained you not to hit yourself repeatedly over the head with a hammer, but good luck making that claim if you injure yourself doing so!

    She would have an injury claim even if she wasn't fired. Maybe, maybe not

    She can also claim unfair dismissal.
    Only if she can show that her dismissal was actually because of a protected characteristic (not "health and safety" as you simplistically call it). Otherwise, with less than two years service she can't.

    Imagine telling an employee to do a job that isn't in their remit without proper training or equipment then getting injured and then being sacked?
    Imagine! She may have a personal injury claim depending on the full facts of the case.

    She will get every penny out of the employer.
    Time will tell.
    Originally posted by Smellyonion
    Last edited by Undervalued; 06-08-2018 at 10:11 AM.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 6th Aug 18, 10:01 AM
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    sangie595
    Theres no qualifying period for health and safety.
    Originally posted by Smellyonion
    She wasn't dismissed for health and safety; and "health and safety" isn't one of the reasons for being able to bring a claim before two years anyway!
    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 6th Aug 18, 10:30 AM
    • 2,792 Posts
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    Cotta
    This is mostly nonsense!
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    What part?
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 6th Aug 18, 10:33 AM
    • 3,253 Posts
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    Undervalued
    What part?
    Originally posted by Cotta
    See my responses in red!
    • Smellyonion
    • By Smellyonion 6th Aug 18, 11:02 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    Smellyonion
    This is mostly nonsense!
    Originally posted by Undervalued

    I think that you are lacking common sense.


    1) Its contradictory to say that "you don't know that", because you also 'don't know that', beaten by your own argument. Based on the evidence in this thread and the evidence from the direct reports own manager, my assumptions are more likely to be correct than yours so try again and don't defeat yourself using your own arguments.


    2) If it is not in black and white, and it is vague then it is debatable. An employment tribunal would decide if it is within the remit of the role. Saying that all contracts sate "other such duties" means you must do anything is incorrect and shows your lack of understanding.


    3) Again, based on the evidence, my evaluation is more likely. Think.... If a low earning admin assistant has lawyers likely from a no win no fee company, fighting this case. These qualified lawyers have made the judgement that she has a case and a good chance of succeeding, which they wouldn't have proceeded with if the chance of a goof outcome was low. Try once more.


    Your comparison on hitting yourself on the head with hammer is totally irrelevant. What is your point?


    4) Wrong, dismissing someone because of fear of H&S failing coming to fruition has no validation period which she could quite easily claim if she wins the personal injury. Try again, do some reading stop and think and respond again.
    • Smellyonion
    • By Smellyonion 6th Aug 18, 11:07 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    Smellyonion
    This is mostly nonsense!
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    She wasn't dismissed for health and safety; and "health and safety" isn't one of the reasons for being able to bring a claim before two years anyway!
    Originally posted by sangie595

    Wrong. Don't shout. Shouting a pig is a cat does not make it a cat.


    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/employment-tribunals-from-29-july-2013/making-an-employment-tribunal-claim-is-it-worth-it/employment-tribunals-automatic-unfair-dismissal/employment-tribunals-automatic-unfair-dismissal-health-and-safety/
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 6th Aug 18, 12:00 PM
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    Undervalued
    No, not wrong!

    I suggest you read the information you have quoted carefully.

    He is the most relevant bit.....

    If you have been dismissed because you took action about a health and safety issue, you can make a claim for automatic unfair dismissal.

    Had the OP's colleague refused to do something that they were instructed to do because it might reasonably have been considered dangerous and therefor an unlawful instruction and, as a result, was dismissed then they may have been able to have brought an unfair dismissal claim without two year's service.

    However that is not (apparently) what happened here.

    They had an accident maybe as a result of the employer failing to act correctly. As I said, they may have a valid personal injury claim.

    She has been dismissed as "unsuitable" to quote the OP but in any case with less than two years service the employer is not obliged to give any reason at all (an indeed would be well advised not to).
    Last edited by Undervalued; 06-08-2018 at 12:21 PM.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 6th Aug 18, 12:06 PM
    • 6,688 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    I agree my boss has not behaved great, however isn't a broken bone at work always a possibility without the employer being to blame.
    Originally posted by Cotta
    Yes, but the issue is how it was caused. Compensation is based on whether or not anyone was negligent. Negligence can be complicated but in very broad, general terms, is based on
    1, Whether there is a duty of care (and there is no question at all that an empolyer owes a duty of care to their employees)
    2, whether it would have been reasonably foreseeable to a reasonable person that the type of accident / harm which occurred might occur. (i.e. it is reasonably foreseeable that if you make/let someone climb ladders, there is a risk they may fall, and that a person who falls off may be injured)
    3, Whether the person responsible (the employer, in the case) knew or ought to have known of the risk.

    If your colleague had tripped over her own untied shoelace and broken her arm, then it is unlikely that she would have a claim.

    However, in this case:

    - Your boss told her to clean the windows, so he had direct knowledge of the activity.
    - your boss knew, or ought reasonably have known, that this was an activity which created a risk of falling. He ought to have ensured that she was given appropriate training, have done a proper risk assessment, and (probably) have not asked an office worked to do window cleaning.
    - It was reasonably foreseeable that someone might fall
    - it was foreseeable that anyone who did fall, might be injured including injuries such as a broken arm.

    I don't think he will get very far arguing that she was careless and responsible for her own injury, unless of course he is able to show that there was a proper risk assessment and she was given specific training / instructions about working on a ladder and she disregarded those instructions.

    Of course, at the time of the accident, it should have been noted in the firm's accident book and your boss should also have informed his insurers. If he didn't do those things, he may find that the insurers get awkward about covering the claim.

    I doubt that she has a claim for her dismissal - however, her personal injury claim is likely to include loss of earnings and depending on her role, that may include the time until the arm is healed - she may find it more difficult to quickly get a new job if she is incapacitated by a broken arm, although she would, of course, have to take reasonable steps to mitigate her loss.

    OP, in your position I would be actively looking for a new job as your current employer seems casual in the extreme, and if they are as ignorant as this about their responsibilities for health and safety, who knows what else they are cutting corners on?

    You may be contacted by your employer's insurer (r their legal representative) for a statement -if so, keep it very brief and factual - e.g. that you were away on the day of the accident so have no direct knowledge of it, and that you have not (assuming that to be the case) at any time carried out a risk assessment for cleaning the windows or given your direct report any training about working at heights, or been instructed by your Boss to do so.

    (this type of thing is why, in our office,it's a always me, or my co-owner, who does things like standing on chair to change a light-bulb, or open the loft hatch, not any of our employees.)
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 6th Aug 18, 12:20 PM
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    Undervalued
    Y
    I doubt that she has a claim for her dismissal - however, her personal injury claim is likely to include loss of earnings and depending on her role, that may include the time until the arm is healed - she may find it more difficult to quickly get a new job if she is incapacitated by a broken arm, although she would, of course, have to take reasonable steps to mitigate her loss.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    Exactly.....
    • Smellyonion
    • By Smellyonion 6th Aug 18, 1:17 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    Smellyonion
    No, not wrong!

    I suggest you read the information you have quoted carefully.

    He is the most relevant bit.....




    Had the OP's colleague refused to do something that they were instructed to do because it might reasonably have been considered dangerous and therefor an unlawful instruction and, as a result, was dismissed then they may have been able to have brought an unfair dismissal claim without two year's service.

    However that is not (apparently) what happened here.

    They had an accident maybe as a result of the employer failing to act correctly. As I said, they may have a valid personal injury claim.

    She has been dismissed as "unsuitable" to quote the OP but in any case with less than two years service the employer is not obliged to give any reason at all (an indeed would be well advised not to).
    Originally posted by Undervalued

    Do you therefore retract your statement that


    "Only if she can show that her dismissal was actually because of a protected characteristic (not "health and safety" as you simplistically call it). Otherwise, with less than two years service she can't."


    or your colleagues:



    She wasn't dismissed for health and safety; and "health and safety" isn't one of the reasons for being able to bring a claim before two years anyway!"


    Because its clearly false? The point being that you were not correct to automatically dismiss the point since she was not there 2 years?


    You now going into the intricate details of the H&S clause prove that its less clear cut than you assumed. So yes, still wrong. Get over it and move it.




    And on your other point, that is indeed very valid and I agree that this point is more debatable. But I would argue that yes, she could very well have a claim around unfair dismissal. She could relate the absence to taking actions against the H&S risk and the employers motives to dismiss her as reprimand for the absence. Very easy to do. Infact, if she wins the personal injury, then I would expect any reasonable judge to link the two.




    • Cotta
    • By Cotta 6th Aug 18, 3:37 PM
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    • 1,120 Thanks
    Cotta
    I actually had an interview this morning I am only back in the office now, it is definitely time for me to move on.

    Employee X's file was on my desk when I arrived along with the documentation relating to their exit interview which has been posted out. I'm relieved that I have been excluded from all proceedings which it what I hoped for not least due to the fact the letter sent to the ex employee has so many typos. A friend of the ex employee has advised that they have submitted a claim form to their solicitor so I've no idea how this will pan out as I should be gone by then. Speaking of gone despite being a small team one of our team who was on holiday until today has phoned to advise he won't be back, not sure if other issues are developing in the company.
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