NASUWT members have access to free legal advice and representation as part of their membership.

The Union partners with expert trade union lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue personal injury claims for members who have suffered an accident, illness or assault in or out of work.

Casework reviews demonstrate that members consistently receive more compensation when they use the Union’s solicitors. When you use the Union’s legal service, you:

  • keep 100% of your compensation;
  • won’t have to pay any legal fees;
  • are guaranteed access to experienced lawyers;
  • have a legal team that will work with the NASUWT to increase the chances of your claim succeeding.

Members won’t get these guarantees from any other law firm.

Get in touch with the Thompsons’ legal service online or call 0808 100 2221.

Frequently asked questions

Is the NASUWT legal service really free of charge?

Yes. If your personal injury, workplace accident or disease-related claim has a reasonable prospect of success, the NASUWT will fund your claim from start to finish.

This means you or your family member will receive 100% of any compensation.

Accidents that occur abroad, for example while on a school trip or when you’re on holiday, are covered where the claim can be pursued in the UK courts.

If you make a claim with any other law firm, you will lose up to 25% of your compensation in legal fees.

The only type of claim not covered by the Union is medical negligence. In these claims, the NASUWT has negotiated a package that guarantees free initial legal advice and then special terms if there is a claim to pursue.

What do I need to do to make a successful personal injury compensation claim?

In any personal injury compensation claim, you need to prove that your injury, illness or disease was caused due to someone else’s fault and a lawyer at Thompsons Solicitors will help you do this.

If you suffer an injury, here are the steps we recommend you take:

  1. Seek medical attention - whether from a first-aider or by attending a hospital for severe injuries, your priority should be getting the medical attention you need.

  2. Keep a record of the incident - take photographs of the scene and your injuries, record contact details of any witnesses, take notes of what happened and, if the accident happened at work, make sure it is logged in the accident book.

  3. Report the accident - if your accident happened at work, report it to your employer as well as your NASUWT Health and Safety Representative.

  4. Get up to speed on your sick pay entitlement - if you’re unable to work as a result of an injury, check your contract of employment to establish your sick pay entitlement.

  5. Check whether you’re eligible for compensation - get in touch with Thompsons Solicitors to establish whether or not you could receive compensation to support with recovery, as well as possible income if you are unable to work.

How can I make a personal injury claim?

Contact Thompsons Solicitors using the NASUWT’s dedicated helpline on 0808 100 2221.

Alternatively, you can start a claim online and a member of Thompsons Solicitors will be in touch.

You will need to provide your name, contact details and your NASUWT membership number. If there is a problem with your membership or you do not know your membership number, please email the Membership Team.

Will making a personal injury claim take funds away from my school or college?

No. All schools and colleges are required by law to have employers’ liability insurance.

Any claim you make will not impact your school or college’s financial situation in any way and making an injury claim will not result in funds being diverted away from pupils.

It is important to remember that your school or college has a duty of care to provide you with a safe work environment.

If your employer has failed in their duty of care and this has led to an injury, the law will hold them responsible.

Can my senior leadership team treat me differently for making a workplace accident claim?

No. You have a right to feel safe and protected at work and the law provides that if you are injured due to an employer failing in their duty of care, you have a right to compensation. Your senior leadership team will be aware of this. They should not make you feel awkward for raising any health and safety concerns you may have or for making a claim if you’ve been injured.

If you are treated any differently as a result of making a workplace accident claim, your employer could be pursued for harassment and discrimination.

If you feel like your senior management team or any other member of staff is making you feel ashamed or embarrassed by making a workplace accident claim or tries to pressure you against making a claim, your NASUWT Workplace Representative will be able to provide you with advice and support.

Raising concerns about health and safety keeps you, your colleagues and your pupils safe.

Thompsons Solicitors has produced a guide that covers the legal rights of those who have had an accident at work

What kind of injury can I make a claim for?

There are many different types of workplace injuries that can happen in and around schools and colleges.

These include:

How should my school or college be keeping me safe?

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, an employer carries the major responsibility to ’ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees’. 

Your school or college could be found liable to pay work injury compensation where they have failed to:

  • follow health and safety legislation;

  • conduct any, or any adequate, risk assessments;

  • provide you with regular, in-depth health and safety training;

  • supply sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE);

  • ensure equipment and machinery is in safe working order and regularly maintained;

  • reduce risk as much as reasonably possible, such as removing trip hazards from the workplace.

Find out more on our Health and Safety pages.

What should I do if I’ve been assaulted by a pupil?

Members, particularly those working in schools supporting pupils with special education needs, may find themselves subjected to violence by a pupil. This can be a distressing for everyone and it is not part of your job.

Any assault should be reported immediately to NASUWT.

Under health and safety law, all schools and colleges should have a policy on protecting staff against violence at work. Any member suffering an assault should ensure that the details of the incident are recorded in the school accident book.

Your employer should also report the assault to the police. If they refuse to do this, you should make a report yourself within 48 hours of the incident taking place, where possible, and your Local Association Secretary should be informed

The Union’s legal service has supported many members who have been assaulted in the past. You can read about how the Union supported a member in one of our press releases.

How much compensation will I get?

The amount of compensation you may be entitled to depends on the impact your injury has had on you. Generally, the more serious your injury, the more compensation you will receive.

If your accident has left you unable to work for any length of time and you have lost income as a result, additional compensation can be claimed.

When pursuing a workplace accident claim with the NASUWT’s legal service, you will not be charged for any legal fees and will receive 100% of your compensation. 

Can I make a claim if my injury was my fault?

If you are partly to blame for your accident, you can still recover compensation.

The compensation amount will be reduced by a percentage that recognises how much you were at fault.

Is there a time limit for making a compensation claim?

Yes, there is a strict time limit for making a compensation claim.

Any claim must be made within three years of the incident or the injury developing or the date of your diagnosis in cases of illness or disease.

There are some exceptions to this rule, but you should get in touch as soon as possible to avoid being out of time to make a claim.

Can I make a claim on behalf of a family member?

Yes, the NASUWT legal service covers family members injured away from work.

Families will get special terms where the success fee is capped at 20%.

Get in touch by calling 0808 100 2221 or making a claim online.