Thursday 19 June 2014

Wisewoman's Words: Claiming After an Accident at Work

The other day someone wanted to know if I could turn their boss into a toad. Now, despite calling myself The Bad Witch, I am actually very nice and not in the habit of cursing people, so rather than produce a potion to slip into the board meeting coffee to transform the directors into slug-eating amphibians, I asked what the problem was.

They did appear to have a genuine grievance. They had suffered an injury while at work that seemed minor at the time, but they said was still giving them trouble several months later. Their boss had a different opinion about it and was not being helpful or sympathetic.

In bygone centuries the law did little to protect the ordinary worker. If a medieval stonemason fell off his flying buttresses or an 18th-century agricultural labourer had an unfortunate encounter with his new-fangled seed drill, they may well have had to turn to the local wisewoman to get redress. However, in the 21st century we are lucky enough to have the law on our side. If you have a work accident that wasn’t your fault then you can claim compensation – which is really rather more useful than just making your boss uglier and wartier than he already is.

Your employers have a duty to protect you from risks, to pay you sick pay and give you time off if you need it. They should also report any accidents or injuries in the workplace. Of course you also need to be sensible, follow all the health and safety guidelines and use any protective equipment provided. However, if you have been injured at work and feel that your employer hasn’t done all they could to help, you can make a claim for compensation. Trade unions can offer legal services to members, but most workers will need to use a specialist personal injury lawyer. This needn’t be expensive as many claims lawyers, such as Leo Claims, offer a no win/no fee service.

As a witch and wisewoman, I always recommend getting all the help you can when trying to solve a problem. Practical solutions should be used before resorting to divine intervention – but it can’t help to ask Lady Justice, the ancient Goddess of Law and Order whose statue stands today on the Old Bailey in London, to help in any legal matters.

The photo shows Lady Justice on top of the Old Bailey. It is by Jongleur100 and is reproduced under Wikimedia Commons.

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