Nationwide survey reveals employees' lack of awareness of their rights: government, trade unions and employers need to work together and take a lead12 September 2005
Rights to claim for injury and diseases caused by work
UK workers are unaware of their rights to claim compensation for injury and disease caused by work, a nationwide survey reveals. Workers say trade unions, the government and employers must take the lead in raising awareness.
The survey, commissioned by the UK's largest trade union law firm Thompsons Solicitors, reveals that 85% of employees believe that more should be done to inform workers of their rights to claim if employer negligence has caused them to be injured. This figure rises to 91% in the manufacturing and construction industries, and, regionally, to 93% in Greater London, and 94% in Northern Ireland and Wales.
When asked who should take a lead in raising awareness amongst employees of their rights, the majority listed three key players - trade unions, government and employers. Other lesser influencers cited were the medical and legal professions and the media.
"The survey reveals widespread ignorance of rights across the UK," comments Tom Jones, partner at Thompsons Solicitors. "This is a cry for help from working people to government, trade unions and employers and cannot be ignored. Access to justice, rightly championed by the government, is worthless without knowledge of rights. Offering access without knowledge of rights is like trying to sell a car without wheels."
"The findings also debunk, yet again, the mythical compensation culture. A working population where 85% say not enough is being done to make people aware of their rights following injury at work is hardly in the grip of compensation fever."
The survey, conducted by The Survey Shop, profiled both men and women across the UK and across all socio economic groups. A range of employment sectors were covered, including mining, teaching, construction, healthcare and catering.
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.