In order to prove a stress at work claim, an employee has to prove:
- that they have a psychiatric illness
- that the employer breached their duty of care
- that the working environment posed a risk of causing a psychiatric injury
- that the employer knew or ought to have known that the employee was exposed to a risk that could result in a psychiatric illness
Evidencing that the employer knew or ought to have known of the risk of stress or psychiatric injury at work is the most difficult element of a stress at work compensation claim. This knowledge of the risk factor is defined as “foreseeability”.
The current law states that foreseeability depends upon what the employer knew, or ought to have known, about the pressures placed upon an employee at the time. Foreseeability will vary according to individual circumstances, but it is important that if you have had or are having difficulties at work that you can provide evidence that you drew this to the attention of your employer and that they were made aware of the difficulties you faced and that they failed to take the appropriate action to help resolve your issues.
Stress can cause mental and physical illnesses such as anxiety, panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), altered appetite, headaches and sleeping difficulties. In addition to the psychiatric illness the longer term impact on health can include alcohol / substance abuse, heart disease and ulcers.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a psychiatric illness and believe that this illness has been caused by your working conditions, please speak to a member of our Personal Injury (PI) team regarding the possibility of bringing a stress at work compensation claim. Our team will discuss with you the circumstances that led to your stress / psychiatric injury and if it would have been reasonable for your employer to have foreseen that you could suffer a psychiatric injury as a result of your working conditions.
Employment legal issues relating to stress at work
Our legal team can also assist on employment law issues that may have arisen as a result of your stress at work injury. If you are dismissed or suffer a “detriment” because you have reported a health and safety issue or bring a claim for personal injury you may also have an employment claim.
If you consider that you or a loved could have a stress at work compensation claim and would like to speak to a member of our Personal Injury (PI) team for a FREE, no-obligation chat please contact our stress at work lawyers on Freephone: 0808 164 0808 or complete the request a call back form and we will call you.