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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73906
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I’m just looking for abit of advice really, I popped my knee

Customer Question

Goodmorning, I’m just looking for abit of advice really, I popped my knee out at work on a building site about 4-5 weeks ago now and my employer has been a nightmare, they’ve not only been rude in the office when it’s come to my pay but my contract manager has also been ignoring the majority of my texts since the accident happened ( which could of been prevented by using a machine instead of wheelbarrows ) now I don’t feel like I’m welcome back or anything, I feel like they’ve just spat me out injured with no care about my well-being or my mental health with the lack of being paid, I’m also in a Iva and currently missed payments due to not getting paid on time and it’s proper effecting my sleeping aswell as my relationship..
JA: Have you discussed the injury with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Yeah my contract managers fully aware of it aswell as a site manager, it’s been logged in the accident book and then when I asked to speak to HR in the office they said they didn’t have one?.. I’ve also asked for my contract of employment since I started back in January 2020 but still haven’t seen anything yet, I haven’t a clue what my rights are at my work place and I’ve also not been shown any risk and method statements
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I’m an employee paying PAYE and I haven’t a clue if I belong to a union?
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not anything I can think about, it’s taken allot for me to come here, I’ve been battling it for so many days now but I know that if somethings not done then they’re just going to continue to do it to someone else
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Goodmorning Ben, thank you for helping me today
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

I am sorry to learn of the situation you are in. What specifically would you like to ask about this please, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I just ideally want to know my rights and where I stand, and through my contract manager t my messages I feel like I’m no longer welcome back when I do recover, I just think it’s wrong that I’ve injured myself during their duty of care and made out to feel like a criminal? The site manager said I was a “ nuisance “ when I was hopping to the office in extreme pain, no ones once rang up to see how I’m getting on and on the 7/5/21 but I didn’t so I rang up the office to see what’s happening snd they said word for word “ you won’t be receiving your wages today as finance is too busy to get around to you “ in such a rude tone I didn’t know what to say, then they hung up on me, I rang them back up on the Monday and they said finance was on holiday then, so than I rang them back up on the Tuesday, as soon as I got through to them I said what it was about, then the receptionist just said “ is this the groundworker? “ which o replied yes to then she just went “ right.. “ then put me on hold then someone answered saying “. Hi “ so I said “ hello, I’m not sure who this is as I’ve just been out through to you lot “ ( in quite a cheery moody considering ) to which she replied “ who the f**ks you lot “ to then I was so overwhelmed I just said my pays not come on Friday, then she replied “ well that’s not my problem “ I just don’t know what to do..
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 17 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

There are various separate issues here, such as the pay and then the health and safety aspect and also how you are treated overall.

As far as your pay is concerned, the failure to pay you as per contract would amount to an unlawful deduction of wages. Whilst you have rights over this and can make a claim against them to recover any pay owed, that is only there if they do not pay you at all rather than just delay it. Any claim will take months so if it is just a delay, you would have likely received what you are due before the claim can be heard so it would be pointless.

The health and safety issue is likely the most serious one, if it is applicable. Employers have general obligations under law to look after the health, safety and wellbeing of their workers and they must do whatever is considered reasonably practicable to achieve this. Many of these originate from The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which include the following obligations:

- Provide a safe place of work, including safe environment, plant and systems

- To carry out various risk assessments and to control any identifiable risks

- Provide adequate training for any health and safety related tasks

- Provide adequate facilities for staff welfare at work

Under common law, the employer also has an implied duty to provide reasonable care of its workers and that includes the more general obligations of preventing hazards, injury or death.

If there are concerns with health and safety risks or breaches in the workplace, the first step would be to raise a formal grievance to officially bring the issues to the employer’s attention. The outcome of the grievance can be appealed if it is not satisfactory.

If the grievance does not help resolve the issues, it is worth checking whether there is a formal health and safety reporting policy which can be used to make a formal report to the employer, or other appropriate body. The Health and Safety Executive (https://www.hse.gov.uk/) is the central enforcing body for health and safety laws, so any breaches of health and safety can also be reported to them if necessary.

If the employer fails to take the necessary steps to deal with any obvious health and safety issues, or whatever they have done is unreasonable and wholly inadequate, it is also possible to take further action under Sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. These provide certain legal protection where employees refuse to come into work because they genuinely believe they are going to be exposed to a serious and imminent danger. If an employee relies on this protection, their employer should not penalise them in any way and if they do, they could potentially challenge it further in the Employment Tribunal.

Finally, if the employee believes that they can no longer continue working there as a result of these issues, they could even consider resigning and making a claim for constructive dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 17 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you for your timing explaining that, had to go through it a couple of times to understand aha, so would you say my best bet is putting in a grievance? To be fair I just want my holiday pay and sick pay they’ve not payed, I get paid every 2 weeks had my First sick pay on the 23/4/21 but then had no pay until 21/5/22, and with that pay there wasn’t the missing pay that would of been on the 7/5/21 and still not revived it, I normally get notifications a day before a payments meant to be coming through and I’m meant to get paid tomorrow but nothings showing on my bank as a incoming pay so obviously their not going to be paying me tomorrow either.. it’s really starting to effect my mental health snd I’m having to decide either to pay rent or eat, I have dogs aswell and I’ve made sure they’ve always had their dinners but some nights I’m going without eating just because I have hardly anything left to my name money wise..
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
The feelings of not being welcomed back is definitely holding me back, I just don’t feel like I’m welcome there anymore, they’ve took my work van off me to give to someone else and when I asked not to work with them my contract manager told me to “ get over it and do my job “
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 17 days ago.

Hello, thank you for your further queries, I will be happy to answer these. Yes, a grievance would be the best thing to do at present, especially as you are still employed by them (that is no longer an option once your employment terminates). It is also worth mentioning that there is a possible alternative solution to this, which could avoid the need for legal action. That is where the employer is approached on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record and with protection against these discussions being brought up in future legal proceedings) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. This can be done by asking for a meeting, or it can be done in writing, via letter or email. Under a settlement agreement the employee gets compensated for leaving the company with no fuss and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, where both parties move on without the need for going to the Employment Tribunal. However, it is an entirely voluntary process and the employer does not have to participate in such negotiations or agree to anything. There is nothing to lose by approaching this subject with the employer and testing the waters on this possibility - the worst outcome is they say no, whereas if successful it can mean being allowed to leave in accordance with any pre-agreed terms, such as with compensation and an agreed reference.