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I Was Injured While Working For Cash? Can I Still Claim Compensation?

I Was Injured During Cash In Hand Work, What Are My Employment Rights?

By Max Micovic. Last Updated 4th May 2022. Have you had an accident at work that has caused you an injury? Do you believe it was someone else’s fault? Did the person you were working for not take care of your health and safety while you were working for them? These are all considerations that, in normal terms, could lead to you being eligible to claim compensation. However, if you have been injured while working for cash, you might ask ‘Can I still claim compensation?’ In these circumstances, the answer may be a little unclear.

Injured while working for cash can I still claim compensation guide

Injured while working for cash can I still claim compensation guide

This guide has been created to help you if you’ve been injured while working for cash. In the sections below, we explain what working for cash means, and how you may need to prove your employment status in order to make a claim for compensation. 

We also explain more about making a personal injury claim for an accident at work in general terms and give you some idea of how much compensation personal injury claims for accidents at work could bring you. 

If you have any questions after reading this guide, or you believe you could be in a position to claim compensation, our team could help you.

Simply call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804 for assistance. We could even provide you with a personal injury lawyer to help you make a claim.

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A Guide In If You Could Claim If Injured While Working For Cash

‘I was injured while working for cash – can I still claim compensation?’ This is a complex question and the answer depends on a number of factors.

One of the first things you may be asked if you speak to a legal professional about this question is what your employment status was at the time you were injured. This is because the answer to your question depends on whether you were self-employed and on a cash in hand job, and were paying taxes, or whether you were working cash in hand and claiming benefits. 

It might also depend on whether your employer was breaking the law by giving you cash in hand work and you were being paid under the table; that is, you were not legally employed.

Employment rights are a complex issue, and your status of employment has a significant bearing on whether you could claim compensation if you were injured while working for cash. In the sections below, we answer questions such as:

  • Are cash in hand payments legal in the UK?
  • What happens if you get caught working cash in hand?
  • Can I claim compensation if I’ve been working cash in hand and been injured at work?

We also explain the personal injury claims time limit that could apply to an accident at work claim and talk you through the compensation you could claim if you have a valid claim.

What Is Working For Cash?

Working for cash, or cash in hand work, happens in a number of different circumstances.

You could be self-employed for cash in hand work where the public pay you directly. You may work as a tradesperson such as a plasterer, decorator, plumber and so on, or you could be a market trader or even a taxi driver. You would be responsible for paying your own taxes for such work, but you would be able to take payment in cash for work you had completed or goods you had sold.

You could also be an employee who is paid cash directly from your employer. While most people get paid into their bank accounts, there is nothing to stop you being paid in cash if this is the agreement that you had with your employer. They would be responsible for paying you your wages and they would usually have deducted tax and national insurance before you received your cash.

The third circumstance is where an employer attempts to avoid their duty of care towards you and avoids tax by paying you under the table; in such cases, you would not be considered their employee and your employment rights would be uncertain.

Is It Ok To Work Cash In Hand?

As we mentioned, as long as the relevant tax/national insurance was being paid, you would be fine to take a cash in hand payment. The question ‘I was injured while working for cash – can I still claim compensation?’ is more complex if the third circumstance applies to you as your employment rights may not be the same as if you were officially an employee. 

If you are at all unsure as to whether you could claim compensation for being injured while working for cash, we could help establish your cash in hand work employment rights. We could use this information, as well as the details of your accident to see if you could claim.

Proving Your Employment Status If Paid In Cash

If you are paid in cash, you should be able to prove your employment status, whether you are employed or self-employed. There are 5 main types of worker, as listed below. The type of worker you are could depend on the benefits you could receive if you’re injured while working for cash, and whether you could claim compensation:

  • Worker
  • Employee
  • Self-employed/contractor
  • Director
  • Office holder

If you are an employee, your employer may pay you cash if they wish or if you request it. However, your liability to pay national insurance and tax on your income would not change if you were paid in cash. Provided that your employer deducts the correct amount of tax and national insurance from your pay before you receive the cash, and pays this to HMRC, this is perfectly legal.

Your employer should give you a payslip, however, they choose to pay you. They have a legal obligation to do so. The payslip should provide information that includes:

  • Your pay
  • Your income tax
  • Your national insurance contribution
  • Your PAYE reference
  • How you are to be paid

Your payslip may be written by hand, or it could be typed. It may be an electronic document, such as a pdf file.

If you are self-employed, and you get paid in cash by your customers/clients, then you should keep a record of this. You have a legal obligation to do so, as it would need to be included on your tax return. Documents that must be retained by self-employed workers include:

  • Sales and income (sales invoices, bank slips, bank statements, till rolls, for example)
  • Business expenses (receipts)
  • VAT records, if you are VAT registered
  • PAYE records if you employ others
  • Personal income records
  • Any grants you have been given

Proving That You Were Owed A Duty Of Care

Proving that someone owed you a duty of care could depend on whether you were self-employed or an employee. For example:

If you were self-employed, you could prove that the person whose premises you were working in owed you a duty of care. While you are largely responsible for your own safety as a self-employed person, you may be able to claim if you could prove:

  • You were working on premises that were unsafe (in such cases you may be able to claim under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957)
  • You were travelling as a self-employed person as part of your job and were injured due to another motorist’s fault

If you were an employee, no matter whether you were paid cash in hand or not, you would be owed a duty of care by your employer under the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974.

If you could prove that someone’s breach of their duty of care towards you led you to suffering an injury while working for cash, then you could claim compensation for your injuries. We should mention that you would need to submit your claim before the personal injury claims time limit for your case was reached. This is usually 3 years from the date of the accident or the date that you were aware of your injuries. However, some exceptions could apply.

Proving That The Accident Took Place

There are various ways in which you could prove that an accident took place if you were injured while working for cash. You could use:

  • A report in an accident book
  • Photographs of the scene
  • Photographs of your injury
  • Witness details
  • RIDDOR reporting – if you have sustained a specified injury in the workplace, you would be required to report this under RIDDOR yourself if you were self-employed. Your employer has a duty to report specified injuries to RIDDOR if you are an employee too.
  • Medical report – you would need to see an independent doctor as part of your claim. They could verify you were injured while working for cash and could provide a medical report to back up your claim.

If you are concerned about what evidence you would need to claim for an accident at work that happened while you were working for cash, we could help. Our expert team could advise you on what evidence could be useful when looking to make a claim.

Proving Your Previous Income And Losses

‘I was injured at work while working for cash – can I still claim compensation for loss of income?’ 

If this is a question going through your mind, the answer is usually yes. If you are legally working cash in hand, you could claim loss of income if your accident at work has led to you losing out on income.

The way in which you could prove your income or losses could involve various types of evidence. You could use:

  • Bank statements
  • Payslips
  • Tax returns
  • Invoices

It would be wise to keep these in a safe place. That way, you could provide them to your lawyer as part of your claim. This way you could be sure you wouldn’t miss out on any of the compensation you could be eligible for because you don’t have the required documentation.

Effects On Taxation

Cash in hand payments should be reported to HMRC, as they work like any other kind of income. Not declaring income could be considered fraud. If you are self-employed then you have a duty to report any income, whether cash in hand or direct payments to HMRC so that you pay tax on your income.

It is your employer’s responsibility to declare that they are paying you so that the correct tax and national insurance contributions are paid on your behalf. You should report them if they are paying you cash in hand, as this could affect their liabilities towards you.

If your employer attempts to avoid their obligations to pay tax and national insurance, including their own contribution to your national insurance, this is illegal. In addition to your employer getting in trouble for paying you under the table, HMRC could demand payments of tax and national insurance from you. In addition to this, if your employer doesn’t pay national insurance for you, it may affect your eligibility for state benefits.

Compensation Calculator If Injured Whilst Working For Cash

If you were injured while working for cash, and you have a valid claim for compensation, you may be wondering how much your payout could be. We should mention that each personal injury claim is assessed on its own merits, and therefore no two cases would be the same. 

The severity of your injury and how it has affected you would be taken into account when calculating your compensation. Therefore, the figures you’d get from a personal injury claims calculator would not be accurate, as this kind of tool can’t take into account the specific facts surrounding your claim.

Instead of providing such a calculator on this page, we have chosen to give you some insight into what the Judicial College Guidelines say could be appropriate for common injuries that could relate to an accident at work. If your injury doesn’t appear here, we could give you more information by phone, so please don’t hesitate to call us and ask.

InjuryApproximate Payout AmountSeverity
Injury to the arm£18,020 to £36,770Less severe
Injury to the arm£90,250 to £122,860Severe
Injury to the foot£12,900 to £23,460Moderate
Injury to the foot£39,390 to£65,710Severe
Injury to the leg£26,050 to £36,790Moderate
Injury to the leg£51,460 to £127,530Severe
Injury to the neck£7,410 to £36,120Moderate
Injury to the neck£42,680 to £139,210Severe
Injury to the backUp to £11,730Minor
Injury to the back£36,390 to £151,070Severe

Losses And Expenses You May Be Compensated For

In addition to the compensation you could receive for the injuries you’ve sustained you could also be compensated for costs and losses you’ve incurred as a direct result of your injuries.

These could include:

  • Loss of earnings – if your injuries have caused you to miss work, you may have lost out on income. Such losses could be included within your claim.
  • Care costs – some injuries may lead you to need help at home with tasks such as washing or dressing, for example. Care costs could be included as part of your claim.
  • Travel expenses – if you’ve attended medical appointments or appointments with your lawyer, and have incurred costs because of these, you could include them within your claim.
  • Medical expenses – if you’ve had to pay for prescription medicines, counselling or physiotherapy, these could all be included within your claim.

It is vital that you keep any proof of financial expenses that have arisen from your injuries. Bank statements, receipts, payslips and bills could all help ensure you claim everything you’re entitled to.

No Win No Fee Injured While Working For Cash

If you would like the assistance of a personal injury lawyer when making a claim for compensation, you may be under the assumption that this would come with upfront costs. However, if you choose to work with a lawyer under No Win No Fee terms, this would mean you would not pay anything until your case was completed and your compensation payout had come through.

Before you begin a No Win No Fee claim, you would be sent an agreement, known as a Conditional Fee Agreement, which you’d be asked to sign. This lays out the success fee that would be payable to your solicitor once a compensation settlement has been arranged. The success fee represents a small proportion of your compensation payout and is legally capped.

Once this signed agreement had been signed, your lawyer would begin building your case and fight for the maximum compensation possible for you. You wouldn’t be expected to pay them anything throughout this process, but once they’d negotiated a payout for you, their success fee would be deducted from it.

In the event that a compensation settlement wasn’t reached, you would not pay the success fee. You would not pay the costs that your solicitor had incurred during the claims process either.

If you would like us to provide you with a personal injury solicitor who works under No Win No Fee terms, or ask us anything further about the No Win No Fee payment arrangements, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

Why Choose Legal Expert?

Choosing legal services to help you when you’re considering making a personal injury claim could be a big decision. You would want to be confident that you’d chosen someone who could fight for the maximum compensation possible for your claim, and that they had dealt with cases like yours before.

Here at Legal Expert, we believe we could be the perfect choice for your personal injury claim. Our expert advisors could answer any questions you might have about making a claim if you’ve been paid under the table. We could also provide you with a free eligibility check on your case. If we believe your case is a valid one, we could provide you with aNo Win No Fee solicitor who could fight for compensation on your behalf.

We have helped many claimants from all walks of life claim compensation for accidents at work that have caused injuries. We’d be delighted if you’d take a look at the reviews that previous clients have left for us. We believe that these should tell you a lot about the great services we provide. We’d love to extend the same services to you.

Start A Claim

Are you ready to begin a claim for compensation, or would you like us to answer some questions about your eligibility or the claims process? Whatever you need, we’re ready to help you. You can get in touch with us in a number of ways:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cash In Hand Payments Legal In The UK?

Cash in hand work is legal in the UK, in some circumstances. However, the income you receive in cash needs to be taxed before it reaches you.

Additionally, if you are not declaring the cash you are being paid, this could affect your employment rights and your ability to make a claim for compensation if you are injured at work.

How To Prove Someone Is Working Cash In Hand

You may be wondering, “are cash in hand payments legal?” They can be depending on the nature of your role. When claiming for an accident at work, you are attempting to receive compensation because your employer has breached their duty of care. The issue with working cash in hand is that, without the required evidence, like payslips, it can be difficult to prove that you were in fact working for that employer at the time of the accident, especially in cases involving small firms or sole traders.

If you’re claiming, it may be important for you to know how to prove someone is working cash in hand. As mentioned previously, your employer should be taking tax/national insurance contributions out of your wage. You should also have confirmation they are doing this in the form of a payslip. This can be used as evidence to show that you are working cash in hand.

For more information on proving someone was working cash in hand or about working cash in hand and claiming benefits, please get in touch on the number above.

What Are You Entitled To If You Are Injured At Work?

If you can prove that your injuries were caused by your employer’s negligence, then you may be owed compensation. The amount you’re awarded can be comprised of different figures that are awarded for various reasons.

The compensation for physical pain and mental suffering that your injuries cause you can make up a certain portion of your settlement. This figure is known as general damages.

Then, it’s possible that you can be reimbursed for other expenditures and losses that have taken place due to your injuries. This figure is known as special damages.

Do I Get Full Pay If Injured At Work?

There’s no legal requirement for your employer to pay you if you cannot work due to your injury, but in some cases, this might be written into your employment contract.

However, if your income has been properly taxed (even if you are paid in cash), then you may be eligible to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). However, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to receive SSP.

Additionally, there are certain factors that can prevent you from claiming SSP, such as if you are self-employed. Get in touch if you want to know more.

Quick References

Claiming If You’re Self-Employed – This guide covers all you may need to know if you’re making an injury claim as a self-employed worker.

General Guidance On Accident At Work Claims – This page gives you a wealth of information about accident at work claims.

Claiming For Being Bullied At WorkIf you’ve been harassed at work, you may be able to claim compensation. Our guide explains this further.

Report Someone For Working Cash In Hand – If you know someone is working cash in hand illegally, you could report them via this link.

Injury At Work Compensation – This takes you to the government’s page regarding injury at work compensation for employers. It explains their tax/NI responsibilities.

Guide For Workers Injured At Work – This page from the government’s website explains what you could do if you were injured at work.

Other Claims We Could Help You With

  1. Stress at work claims.
  2. Office ancient claims.
  3. Work-related illness claims.
  4. Foot injury claims.
  5. Arm injury claims.


Guide by Jeffries

Edited by Billing

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