Stress is the disease of the 21st century. Dinosaurs were unable to adapt quickly enough to a changing environment. We humans face a similar problem, as the world of work, and technology, changes at a bewildering, ever faster, pace. We are deluged with information. As choices widen, decision-making becomes more and more difficult. Life was simpler when all cars and telephones were black; and holidays were limited to Newquay or Skegness or nothing. Even rail fares are so complex that experts find it difficult to give the right advice.
“I would like to express my sincerest thanks for all your help in person…we would like someone who is reliable and good, basically someone of your calibre.”– Dr A A, London University
Stress is the biggest health risk in the workplace today, according to the Recruitment and Employers Confederation, costing £7 billion a year (CBI). The Health & Safety Executive estimates that 533,000 workers are suffering from work-related stress. Another study found that one in five suffer “extreme stress”. Work is the biggest source of stress in most people’s lives, with the boss the single biggest source of stress.
As work-related stress becomes more prevalent, more employees are seeking compensation from their employers. Recently a teacher accepted a record £300,000 payout.
Compensation for stress has two components: financial loss and ‘pain and suffering’. Employees have to prove that their illness, a recognised psychiatric illness, was caused by a breach of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992, a breach of contract or a breach of the employer’s common law duty of care. The employee must show that this breach caused a psychiatric injury which the employer should have foreseen. These cases are more complex than those relating to physical injuries.
We are experienced in providing advice on stress at work law. Please call us on 01483 303 636. We can help.