Injured but not being an employee at that workplace
It is very common these days with the type of contracts and the diversity of work in the professional arena that different companies and contractors sub let or sub contract employees of other companies, this exercise helps reduce the work load on companies and also helps them financially as this help comes cheaper than it would have, had they been their employees.
What happens in an arrangement like this is that a person let’s say “Jim”, works for construction company A and is further given to a construction company B who is in need of the specific work expertise of company A and its employees. Hiring a totally new employee for that job would mean giving employee benefits a high pay for that specialist work and the idea of training them as per the regulations and all.
But when “Jim” is contracted by the company A what happens is that none of the criteria is needed to be fulfilled and company B can obtain Jim’s services only by contracting with company A for a specific period of time and for a specific amount of money… “No strings attached”.
How would all of this become a problem?
Well consider this, if Jim gets injured on a site working for in a dangerous workplace for the company B and gets injured, who would Jim claim the compensation for the damage? It cannot be A because as per the criteria under law the employer exercising control of the aforementioned injured employee is the employer who will compensate that employee.
However employer B here has not hired Jim and Jim is not an employee of the company for all purposes of his agreement.Tricky right?
This is the area where employers like company B exploit the law and leave the person who is injured, hanging with ‘sorry we don’t owe you anything’. This problem is very common and information regarding this is vital, as per the law the injured person is bound to be compensated and without the correct information that person’s ordeal is to get magnified ten folds.
What happens is that the law under such situations will do one of three things:
- Holding that the employer A is to compensate for the injuries as he is the principal employer and the law generally takes a tough standing against principal employers.
- It will hold that the employer B cannot get away on a technicality and is to be held liable for injuring the employee or not providing with a safe enough workplace for him/her.
- Or C, it could hold both the employers to be jointly liable for causing the injuries and in compensation both are to contribute equally.
The third situation is the one that is more popular with the courts and the stand point they take nowadays. As it is less burden on both the courts and the companies to distribute the amount of compensation to be paid, the underlining principle being compensation of the victim.