If an employee's sickness absence is due to a workplace accident, should he or she be paid in full where there is normally no provision for full sick pay?

There is no legal requirement for an employee to be paid full pay by his or her employer when sickness absence is due to a workplace accident in circumstances where there is normally no provision for full sick pay.

However, where the employee's medical condition amounts to a disability, it may be a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010 to pay the employee full pay where he or she is on disability-related sick leave. This is likely to be the case in exceptional circumstances only, where the loss of pay is attributable to a discriminatory decision by the employer, for example it has failed to make other reasonable adjustments that, had they been made, would have resulted in the disabled employee returning to work at an earlier date (see Nottinghamshire County Council v Meikle [2004] IRLR 703 CA and O'Hanlon v Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs [2007] IRLR 404 CA). Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the employer is not obliged to pay full sick pay to a disabled employee who is absent due to disability-related sickness, whether or not the disability was caused by a workplace accident.

Instead, the employee can claim a shortfall in wages as part of the compensation sought in a personal injury claim against the employer where the accident arose as a result of the employer's negligence or breach of statutory duty.