Absences due to injuries of a third party
Absence due to injuries as a result of negligence of a third party
A civil servant who is absent from work as the result of an injury caused by the negligence of a third party is not entitled to receive sick pay if damages may be recoverable from the third party. Where there is a possibility of a claim for damages against a third party the following procedure should be adopted:
a) The civil servant must be required immediately to sign the form of undertaking attached at Annex E3 and recommended to seek legal advice on making a claim which should include a specific amount for loss of earnings including any potential pay increases. (Where the civil servant is unable to sign the form due to his injuries alternative arrangements should be made eg. a witnessed mark on the form or the spouse's signature).
b) It should be explained to the civil servant that, on signing the undertaking, he will receive 'an advance' which will be recoverable from any damages received from the third party; the civil servant should also be assured that no attempt will be made to recover the monies advanced in the event of:
- the claim not being pursued for any reason on legal advice or
- the claim for damages being unsuccessful or
- the claim being successful but the payment of the damages cannot be enforced.
In the event of a claim being partially successful, advice should be sought from the HR Advisers in the Office of Human Resources.
c) The civil servant should be advised to claim Sickness Benefit from Social Security and seek the Department's advice on the consequences of any long-term absence from work on long-term benefits (eg. national retirement pension) so that any potential losses can be included with the claim.
d) The 'advance' should be a sum equal to the amount of sick pay which would have been paid if the absence had been due to ordinary sickness, however:
- no ITIP or NI deductions that would be made if the advance had been sick pay should be forwarded to the Treasury or Department of Health and Social Security)
- the amount of sickness benefit which the civil servant is entitled to claim under the Social Security Acts must be deducted from the payment.
The advance should not be issued with the normal pay slip unless the slip clearly states that it is an advance and not remuneration in the form of pay. In the unfortunate event of the civil servant's injuries being such that there is not a reasonable prospect of sufficient recovery to allow him to return the work the provisions of Sections B and E of these regulations concerning premature retirement on grounds of ill-health should be followed.