Work Related Stress Compensation

Why stress can be one of the most debilitating workplace afflictions

For many, work related stress is a severely debilitating condition that leaves them unable to work and, at worst, unable to function properly outside of the workplace. A recent case in the Midlands saw the NHS being forced to pay a health worker ££370,550 plus a further £24,000 per year for life, as the result of stress incurred whilst working in a Birmingham hospital. While this is encouraging news for anyone who suffers from work related stress, ministers have expressed concerns about the amount of NHS money being paid out in compensation claims. In the West Midlands alone, the NHS paid out £48 million, only £17 million of which was to patients. As a result, politicians are lobbying to have the laws changed where stress related illness is concerned, which could make things more difficult for future sufferers.

The Health and Safety Executive defines work related stress as ” “the process that arises where work demands of various types and combinations exceed the person’s capacity and capability to cope”. The result can be a significant increase in illness and disease and high numbers of staff absence. Interestingly, the HSE mentions the responsibility of employees to ensure that a job is well organised, designed and managed to help reduce the potential for stress related illness, although, as of yet, there is no discrete law that deals directly with the issue.

If you feel you are suffering from stress that is caused by your work, then you may be in a position to take out a claim against your employer. However, you would be best advised to employ the services of a work injury lawyer. While most people assume that these legal specialists are only for physical accident claims, their knowledge of the Law could be of significant help to you in launching such litigation, as there are certain aspects of the Law that may help you with your claim.

From the outset, there are certain things that can be taken into consideration. Firstly, it is understood that an employer has a duty of care to his employees and this is implied in the contract between them. Where employer’s changes and impositions impact upon the conditions of employment, dignity at work and the personal wellbeing of employees and the result is a stress related condition or injury then there may be cause for a claim. A good work injury specialist will be able to find the cause and effect of a situation like this.

It is also worth bearing in mind that stress can be caused through a number if other factors, such as harassment, bullying and discrimination of race, ethnicity, disability, religion, sex, sexuality and age. If it can be proven that the stress suffered is as a direct result of inappropriate behaviour on the part of the employer or another colleague, then it is likely that you will have good grounds on which to base our complaint. In addition, there are also Laws in effect that protect those who feel they need to make a case for stress related conditions, so there is no need to fear dismissal or disciplinary procedures.

Getting in touch with a work accident solicitor could see you taking the first steps towards claiming compensation for a situation that has caused you undue stress and worry.

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