If you are suffering with stress in the workplace and believe your employer is at fault you may have a claim for stress at work compensation.
The harm caused by stress at work can be highly underrated. Part of the reason for this is because some employers think that workers who claim to be stressed are simply looking for an excuse to avoid taking on work or having time off. While this may be true in some cases, it isn’t always so, and employers cannot just make presumptions. Every claim of being stressed at work must be analysed on its own merit and if it is found that an employer has reason to be stressed, steps must be taken to ensure that the source of stress is resolved.
Working while stressed can cause a number of health problems, some of which can have serious consequences. Persistent fatigue, anxiety, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, depression, and headaches are only some of the many health problems that can result from persistent stress at work. Looking at the statistics for stress at work (.pdf file) it is clear to see it isn’t a minor issue.
Common Stress At Work Claims
Although there may be numerous reasons an employee may be suffering from stress some of the more common causes or reasons stress at work claims for compensation are filed include:
- Excessive workload – Forcing employees to work longer hours, expecting them to meet last-minute deadlines, or having unrealistic expectations of how much work they can take on during their working hours can result in stress-related illnesses.
- Lack of adequate training – Every job has its own unique skill requirements. Workers need to be trained so that they are well-equipped to handle the job they are employed to do. Without the proper training, workers are more likely to lack confidence and feel overwhelmed while doing their job, resulting in unnecessarily high stress levels.
- Bullying and harassment at work – Bullying and harassment at work can take on several forms, from subtle jokes targeting a workers race, religion, colour or age, to more overt forms such as using abusive language, threatening, or making excessive demands. Whether this is carried out by phone, letter, email or face-to-face, it can lead to a stressful environment that is not conducive to work. Overlooking an employee for promotion or bonuses may also be tantamount to bullying. If you’re being bullied at work you may want to refer to our page on claiming compensation for bullying at work.
- Denial of employee rights – According to the law in the UK, all workers have a right to a reasonable amount of breaks, rest periods, and annual leave. Workers who are denied their right to get adequate time off from work can feel overwhelmed and stressed.
If you feel any of the above is what has happened to you and you feel your employer is at fault, you may have a case to file a stress at work claim.
Stress At Work Compensation Payouts
How much compensation for stress at work you might receive depends on various factors such as how serious the effects are, has treatment been needed, future prognosis. However there are guidelines with varying compensation payouts advised for psychiatric or psychological type issues for which problems caused by stress at work would fall under.
- Severe issues caused by stress at work that might include affected relationships, trouble coping with life and a very poor future prognosis, might see compensation of £46,780 to £98,750.
- Moderately severe issues caused by stress at work where there are significant issues but the prognosis is generally more optimistic, £16,270 to £46,780.
- Compensation for moderate cases where there may be some problems with ability to cope with life for example but a marked improvement, £5,000 to £16,270.
- Compensation for stress at work related problems that are considered less severe, £1,310 to £5,000.
For a realistic estimation on what stress at work claim amount you could be entitled to contact us today to arrange a free consultation to speak with a solicitor.
Starting A Compensation Claim For Work Related Stress
If you are reluctant to approach a personal injury solicitor because of the fees involved, you should know that (in our case) we will not charge you a consultation fee or even ask you to pay any legal fees until the case is successfully concluded.
If you arrange a free consultation and the solicitor concludes you have a strong case proving employer liability, your stress at work claim will be processed on a No Win No Fee basis, if you decide to go ahead of course. This agreement means you only have to bear the legal fees if the case is won and compensation has been awarded. The fee is deducted out of the compensation settlement and is an agreed percentage. If your stress at work claim isn’t successful and hence no compensation is awarded, you don’t have to pay any legal fees, in other words you pay nothing at all.
What To Do If You’re Suffering From Stress At Work
When work-related stress begins to impact your health and your relationship with family and friends, and your employer makes no attempt to create a less stressful environment at work, you should explore your rights to file a stress at work compensation claim. However, the biggest problem with claiming that you are stressed at work is that there is no clear cut definition of what constitutes stress at work.
Different people react differently to different situations. What motivates one employee may stress another. With that in mind, it is unrealistic that employers are able to guess about the stress levels of every one of their workers. It is up to you to bring it to their notice.
The first step would be to try and resolve the situation informally. If that does not work or if the situation is such that it cannot be sorted out informally, you should get your manager or HR department to intervene. If nothing seems to work, you must make a formal complaint addressed to your employer.
Sending a formal notice to your employer is very important, as it lays the foundation for a successful stress at work claim. Without any formal notice, your employer can counter claim that they were unaware that you were having problems, which may let them off the hook.
Your formal notice must highlight details of the problems you are facing at work and how the resulting stress is affecting your health and your ability to perform efficiently at work. This gives your employer the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments so that the working conditions are more amenable.
If your employer ignores your notice and fails to take any action, you should get in touch with a solicitor to determine whether you could make a stress at work claim for compensation.