It’s estimated that there are currently 700,000 workers engaged on zero contracts in the UK. Many of those are employed through agencies. In the event of an injury at work, what rights do those workers have? Who do they seek compensation from, and are they treated differently from other employees?

ASD Solicitors recently acted for a university student who was employed on a zero hours contract through an agency, and placed with a well-known supermarket to carry out stocktaking.

Unfortunately she suffered injury when she lifted a heavy box at work. She was told by her supervisor she wouldn’t be able to claim against the supermarket. When she contacted ASD two months after the incident, Miss L was still complaining of severe back pain. She was correctly advised by Richard Meggitt, solicitor, that the claim should be directed to the supermarket on the basis that she would be considered, for the purposes of the personal injury claim, as an employee. Miss L had received no training in manual handling.

The insurers for the supermarket initially denied liability, claiming the agency was responsible for her training. Only after court proceeding had been issued, did they accept liability and make a payment.

ASD arranged for free physio for Miss L and she made a full recovery within 18 months.

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