If you’re suffering from the symptoms of stress at work and your employer hasn’t taken any or adequate steps to support you, you may be entitled to claim compensation for stress at work.
To find out how much compensation you could be awarded for stress at work, see our Stress at Work Compensation Payouts Guide.
For a free consultation with legal advice contact our Industrial Disease Solicitors and we’ll look at the details of your situation. Then we can start to assess your claim and advise you on what to do next. Ask if we can deal with your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
What is Stress at Work?
The words “stress at work” refer to psychiatric damage caused by the breach of duty of an employer. The damage includes:
- Adjustment disorder
Making a Stress at Work Claim
In order to make a successful claim for stress at work, it must be proven that your employer breached health and safety regulations. Employers in England and Wales are legally required to assess your working conditions to protect you from the effects of stressful situations at work.
This usually covers a situation where your employer knows about the stressful working conditions, but doesn’t do enough to support you and help you, thereby causing you to suffer from psychiatric injury.
Claims for compensation due to psychiatric illness or injuries sustained as a result of workplace stress are complex and can often be challenged on different grounds.
For instance, an employer may argue that they didn’t know you were at risk of harm to your health because of workplace stress or that the workplace stress has not caused your psychiatric injury. They may also argue that the time limit for making a stress at work claim has already expired. It’s therefore very important to get expert legal advice from an Industrial Disease Solicitor before making a claim.
To establish a claim, you must prove that you have suffered from a recognised psychiatric injury. These range from emotional adjustment disorders to depression, specific phobias, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
It’s important to consult your GP for medical help as soon as you start to suffer from symptoms of stress, so you can get treatment as quickly as possible and ensure your GP records the reason for those stressful symptoms appearing.
Types of Claim for Psychiatric Injury at Work
There are a number of different ways in which a claim for psychiatric injury or illness due to stress at work can be made. These include:
- Making a claim following harassment you have suffered in the workplace
- Making a claim due to excessive workload, inadequate support or mismanagement
- Making a claim because you have been involved in a harrowing event in the workplace or harrowing work circumstances and your employer hasn’t done enough to support you.
Health and Safety Executive Statistics 2017/18
Work Related Stress, Depression or Anxiety
- 595,000 Workers suffering from work related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing).
- 239,000 Workers suffering from a new case of work related stress, depression or anxiety.
- 15.4 million Working days lost due to work related stress, depression or anxiety.
What Should Employers Do?
Employers have a legal duty to consider the health of their employees at work, and this includes an employee’s psychiatric health. There are steps employers can and should take to protect their employees, such as:
- Conducting a stress risk assessment
- Considering unusual patterns of absence
- Considering stress risks at appraisals
- Making referrals to occupational health for counselling
- Conducting stress audits
- Providing additional supervision or technical support
- Providing training
- Considering reasonable adjustments including to workloads or hours
For more information see 6 Steps to Deal with Mental Health Issues in the Workplace.
For free legal advice call our Personal Injury Solicitors
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