THE National Accident Helpline has issued a statement in response to criticism of its Rights on Site campaign by Unite the union.
The National Accident Helpline launched the Rights on Site promotion to target construction workers who have had a workplace accident that is not their fault. The Helpline assesses a worker’s accident compensation case and passes it to solicitors. If the legal case is won, the legal costs the worker has to pay the solicitor are often awarded by the court.
However, Unite says that these costs are often not covered by the amount of money the court awards and then workers are left to foot the National Accident Helpline’s bill from any money awarded to them as compensation. Sometimes the sums awarded in compensation are vital to allowing workers to adapt their homes or buy the equipment needed following a disability caused by an accident.
Criticising the Rights on Site campaign and the helpline, which is owned and run by a no win no fee legal firm, Unite said that even if construction workers win their cases and are awarded compensation using a National Accident Helpline lawyer, the union offers a better service which does not take any compensation money as fees.
National Accident Helpline Responds
The National Accident Helpline response reads:
“We are disappointed in the perspective that Unite has taken to our Rights on Site campaign.
Rights on Site is a campaign to raise awareness of the challenges workers are facing within the UK construction industry. We have helped thousands of construction workers recover the compensation they deserve over the last 28 years. We have commissioned an independent focus group that has revealed that the fear of blacklisting is still very real, with workers experiencing accidents within the workplace and not feeling comfortable in making a claim.
As an organisation we firmly believe in standing up for what is right, we never cold call and have actively lobbied against it and we never approach people directly to incite them to make a claim. We support people who have experienced an injury through no fault of their own to get back on track.
We will continue to raise awareness of the issues workers are facing within the construction industry.”