If you cannot return to work after an injury, the financial implications can be very severe. However, you may be entitled to claim for sick pay following an accident at work.
Employers and employees pay Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI) to cover social welfare entitlements such as illness benefit. If you are an employee who is out of work due to an injury, you may be able to claim sick pay under the scheme. Employers have no legal obligation to pay you while you are on sick leave. However, they can choose to pay some or all of your wages while you are on sick leave. However, this payment is at their own discretion. Employers who do provide sick pay will often require the injured employee to make a claim to the Department of Social Protection for a benefit (Illness/Disablement/Supplementary Welfare Allowance) and ask for this benefit to be paid to them for as long as you are on sick pay. Check the terms of your contract of employment for sick pay provisions or details of an occupational sick pay scheme.
If you are claiming compensation for an accident at work, you may be required to repay the sick pay you received. You should also remember that an employer’s decision to continue paying an employee who is out sick from work due to a work-related injury is not considered an admission of liability by the employer.
If your employer does not pay sick leave, and you bring a claim for compensation following an accident at work, you can include your loss of earnings in your claim. Your employer will have to certify your loss of earnings. Furthermore, all medical certificates should be submitted to your employer and copies given to your solicitor as part of your claim.
If you succeed in your claim for injuries, you will be compensated for the loss of earnings. As soon as you are certified to return to work, you should do so to avoid any further loss of earnings.