Going to work is somewhere you hope to be treated professionally and respectfully. Sadly, in some cases, individuals are subjected to sexual assault and harassment from customers, clients and even other colleagues. In this guide we will explore the CICA route for claiming for this type of crime works, and who you can claim form.
As is with all cases, the incident that has occurred must have been reported to the police. If this is not the case, and it has only been reported to the employer, then this route would not be available. You can still take the other route and we can still help to claim for sexual abuse & assault. If it has been reported to the police, a statement must’ve been made and the Applicant must have cooperated with the police. The claim route is then very similar to that of a rape/sexual assault claim. To the CICA, the fact it happened within the workplace does not affect anything. The only thing it may do is provide more evidence, especially if there are reports and statements available through the employer about the incident.
Sexual assault/rape claims are valued anywhere from £1,000 up to £44,000 depending on the type of assault that took place. The following are a few examples of the claim values;
Rape – Rape has a base claim value of £11,000 and can be built on with further supporting evidence all the way up to £44,000, depending on medical and physical evidence available to support.
Sexual Assault – Sexual assault is broken down into a couple of subcategories; Minor, Serious and Severe. It sounds ridiculous to categorize any sort of sexual crime because regardless they should all be classed as severe. However, for the sake of the CICA scheme, they do need to be ordered into categories. An example of minor sexual assault would be indecent touching over clothes, whereas serious/severe sexual assault is under clothes/oral acts. Sexual assault claim values for the workplace range from £1,000 up to £22,000 depending on the medical evidence available and injuries sustained.
To qualify for the higher end of the brackets, an individual needs to have the correct treatment in place. For physical injuries this can be any medical professional such as a doctor or surgeon. However, for mental injuries, the CICA require a more scoped approach. To qualify for a claim for mental injuries on top of a sexual assault or rape, the individual needs to have had treatment or a diagnosis from a Psychiatrist/Psychologist or someone of that level. The CICA will not accept any evidence provided from a GP. Some workplaces offer occupational therapy or will organise treatment for the victim once they are aware of the circumstances that have taken place. This treatment will then be taken into consideration by the CICA on top of the physical aspect of the claim.
It is also worth noting that you can claim for the higher end of the bracket without medical evidence, if the incidents have been reoccurring. If it is incidents of sexual assault, the claim value bracket is between £6,600 and £8,200. If it is repeated incidents of rape, the claim value is between £16,500 and £22,000.
Another claim route we can help you explore at Criminal Injury Solicitors, is directly against the employer themselves. You do not need to have sustained a physical injury in order for it to be categorized a sexual assault. With this route, harassment or unwanted attention are grounds for a claim to be brought against the employer.
Claiming against the employer directly is the more efficient and likely successful option to make as opposed to claiming against the individual who assaulted you directly. Private claims against an individual are only successful if they have the funds to carry the claim. A claim is brought against the employer instead, for any injuries sustained (Physical and Mental) and any financial loss as a result of the incident/s. This is often referred to as vicarious liability and gives you much better chances at succeeding in a claim, as the damages etc. are paid by the employers insurance.
As mentioned, there doesn’t have to be a physical incident that has occurred to claim against the employer. This differs from CICA, where it is required that a physical incident have occurred in order to make a claim. Attempted contact constitutes as a form of harassment/assault.
One of the pros of claiming against the employer directly is that they will account for any loss of earnings from day one of your first absence related to the incident, whereas the CICA starting point for loss of earning is 28 weeks. An employer is more likely to handle the claim professionally, reducing any potential upset or aggravation for the victim. Of course the biggest pro is that the employer will have insurance to claim against for compensation.
The main point that has to be proven when directing a claim to an employer, is the link between the attack and the employment of the attacker. It would likely not be sufficient enough to just show that the attacker is employed by the same company/agency etc. as the victim. There needs to be a level of control, superiority or care between the job descriptions of the attacker and victim. Below are two scenarios, one of which the victim can claim, and one of which they cannot claim:
A company organized a conference for their staff in a hotel. This also included an overnight stay. A female employee was intoxicated and her manager forced his way into her hotel room and sexually assaulted her. The employer was liable as the manager was there to ‘manage’ and care/be responsible for his staff, something of which he breached and failed when he assaulted his female colleague.
A female employee accepts the offer of a date from a male colleague of the same position/pay grade as herself. While on the date, the male colleague drugs and rapes the female colleague. The employer is not liable as the assault did not happen as a result of the offenders job role, and their employment at the company was incidental to the assault.
In civil cases, the proof needed is based on the balance of probabilities. This is not as strict as criminal law, where you may have heard the phrase ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. In civil cases, a claim can be successful, even if there is no prosecution of the offender. However, having a prosecution in place will drastically increase the chances of claim success, as a criminal conviction in civil law is a fact that cannot be argued. This means that the employer cannot dispute or question what took place, as it has been proven and charged in a court of law.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape within the workplace, please contact us directly, either via email, WhatsApp or Telephone. We can discuss with you the case factors and help determine which route would be best to take the claim.
Sexual abuse against an organisation can take anywhere between 6 to 24 months. CICA sexual abuse claims can take around 6 to 12 months from the date of the submission to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. However, There are a number of outside organisations which we must rely upon for providing the evidence to CICA to support your case, such as police and medical agencies.
CICA claims might take longer in some cases. Sometimes in sexual abuse compensation claims, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) may decide to prosecute the assailant. If they do decide to prosecute, then the police report is not normally released until the trial is over. This can delay a compensation offer by a number of months. However, you do not need to wait until the trial is over, meaning you can apply for compensation before the outcome is determined.
For more information or for any advice, please call Criminal Injury Solicitors on 0333 996 9988 or email us on email@example.com.