With more competitive and highly pressured office and industrial environments, work related stress is becoming increasingly common, which is a concern for employees and employers alike. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, employers are legally responsible for the welfare of employees, which includes work related stress. Common causes of the problem can include an uncomfortable working environment, excessive workloads, discrimination and bullying, as well as lack of support within the workplace. External causes may include a disability or family bereavement, for example. Whatever the reason, it is important for you to not simply ignore it, but rather recognise it and address the issue with your employer.
The first step when making a claim for work related stress is to contact your HR or line manager and ensure they are made aware of the situation. Detailed records of the meeting, any concerns, responses and other relevant information should be kept. If an employer is not aware that you are suffering with stress or you cannot prove that the issue was addressed, any claim will be more difficult.
If no solution is agreed from this meeting there are two ways you can make a claim for work related stress; through constructive dismissal or personal injury. If you wish to make a claim you need only contact us at Accident Advice Helpline and our lawyers will help you build a solid case and act within the stipulated timelines for claims.
If you wish to make a claim for constructive dismissal, you must first follow your company’s grievance procedure. If this is not successful, then the case for claiming constructive dismissal can be started by you handing in your resignation. If your employer terminates your employment before resignation is submitted a claim for unfair dismissal may also be available if your employer is seen to have acted unreasonably. In both scenarios, clear documentation of every meeting and discussion will need to be provided to show clear evidence that your employer did not provide a safe working environment, which led to a breach of employee/employer trust.
A work related stress claim for personal injury would be focused on the lack of care your employer has shown in the provision of a safe working environment. Any employee claiming personal injury would need to show that they were suffering from clinical depression or related illness as an isolated and direct cause of stress brought on in the workplace. Medical recognition of such a condition would be required, along with strong supporting evidence that your employer was aware of the issue, that they could foresee the situation had the potential to develop into a serious illness and therefore breached their duty of care. Personal injury claims are made by way of court proceedings, so your claim will be handled by one of our solicitors, usually on a ‘no win, no fee’, basis. We at Accident Advice Helpline are on hand to help build as strong a case as possible when making a claim for work related stress. Call us free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.