An employee tripped and fell at work and hurt his back.
He tripped on a small tear in an anti-static mat. He saw a first aider and was taken home as he was in a lot of pain from twisting his back.
We do carry out regular risk assessments on all areas of the factory and this had no been noticed. No-one in the working area had noticed and reported a problem either.
He has since been off for seven and a half weeks (excluding two days when he returned to work after a couple of weeks and then went off again).
Under our Absence Management policy, we do not pay for the first day of sickness absence however, we agreed we would on this occasion as it was following an accident at work. For his length of service, we pay up to 4 weeks full pay…we have paid him 5.5 weeks as a goodwill gesture before reducing him to SSP for the remainder of his absence.
He has come back to work today and asked how we will compensate him. He is unhappy at being on SSP and wants to reclaim £450 odd which he’s paid in prescriptions and ostepath’s fees. We are reluctant to do this and have explained that we offer free healthcare to all employees every year and to date, he has declined cover due to the tax and NI implications(it’s a benefit in kind).
I have spoken to ACAS and they say we are under no obligation to consider his request and that if he wants to persue a claim, he should do so through the legal route and would have to prove negligence etc.
I would like to hear what your opinions are as to how we should handle this and whether you would consider compensation.