As you might know already, your employer has a duty of care to try and protect your well-being while you’re at work. As well as trying to stop you from being injured in an accident at work, they must also think about your mental health too. Importantly, if you are suffering from the effects of workplace stress, and your employer has done nothing to try and prevent it, you may be eligible to make a stress at work claim for compensation.
Proving that you’re suffering from stress at work can be tricky and you may wish to seek legal advice before proceeding with a claim. That’s where we can help. If you call our advice centre, your claim will be assessed for free and an advisor will give you legal advice about your next steps. If your claim appears to have strong grounds, we could ask a solicitor to step in. They’ll represent you throughout the claim on a No Win No Fee basis if your case is accepted.
To discuss whether you’re eligible to claim compensation for workplace stress, please call our team on 0800 6524 881 today. Alternatively, please read the rest of this guide to learn more about the claims process.
Table of contents
- Can I Sue My Employer For Stress At Work?
- Common Causes Of Stress At Work Claims
- Problems Resulting From Work-Related Stress
- What You Should Do If You’re Suffering From Stress At Work
- How Much Compensation For Stress At Work Could I Claim?
- Average Stress At Work Compensation Payouts
- How To Prepare A Claim For Work-Related Stress
- Time Limits For Claiming Stress At Work Compensation
- Starting The Stress At Work Claims Process
As mentioned above, your employer has a legal duty to consider your welfare at work. This might include making reasonable adjustments to your work based on advice from your GP or an occupational health specialist. This might include:
- Reducing your working hours.
- Providing additional support or supervision.
- Reallocating some of your (excessive) work to others.
- Arranging for confidential counselling.
If your employer doesn’t do anything to address your health problems after you’ve made them aware of the situation, you might be eligible to claim compensation for your suffering due to stress. If you’d like to know more, call our advisors for free claims advice today.
It’s important to point out that your employer would be breaking the law if they fired you unfairly for starting a compensation claim for work-related stress against them. It is illegal to be sacked, disciplined, demoted or stopped from applying for promotion on the basis that you are claiming.
Therefore, so long as your claim is honest, you should have no reason to worry about taking action. If you are singled out because of your claim, you could have grounds to take further action on top of your stress at work claim.
There are many reasons that you might be stressed at work. Some of the most common reasons people suffer from work-related stress and end up making a compensation claim include:
- Excessive workloads. Simply put, your employer might be asking you to do more than you’re able to in the hours you work.
- Impossible targets. Similarly, trying to achieve targets that are not achievable can have a negative impact on your well-being.
- Micromanagement. This is where you are being constantly scruitinised, monitored, or told what to do.
- Lack of training. Being asked to fulfil tasks without proper training can be both dangerous and stressful.
- Bullying or harassment. Where managers, supervisors or colleagues pick on you because of a certain characteristic like your gender, age or disability. These are protected by the Equality Act 2010. Find out more about claiming compensation for workplace bullying.
- Denial of your rights. Stress at work can also result if you’re denied rights such as paid leave, regular breaks, rest periods and days off.
These are just some examples of why you might find work stressful. Importantly, different people worry about different things so your employer may not realise you’re struggling unless you explain your concerns. However, if you’ve done so and nothing has been done to help, we might be able to help you seek damages for work-related stress.
In the past, stress at work would be laughed off by both the employer and the employee. You might even have been told to ‘man up’ or ‘get on with your job’ if you raised concerns. Things have changed, however, and employers must take reasonable steps to try and reduce stress in the workplace.
Importantly, stress can cause both mental and physical symptoms according to the NHS.
The psychological symptoms include:
- Feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
- Becoming forgetful.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Finding it hard to make decisions.
- Constantly worrying.
The physical symptoms include:
- Muscle pain, aches or tension.
- A faster heartbeat or chest pains.
- Stomach problems.
- Headaches and dizziness.
- Sexual problems.
- Weight loss and loss of appetite.
As you can see, there are a lot of problems that workplace stress can lead to. Therefore, if you believe you’ve suffered as a result of your employer’s failure to address your problems, please get in touch to see if you could be compensated by making a stress at work claim.
If you believe your health is suffering because of stress at work, there are some steps you could take to help. They include:
- Speaking to your supervisor or manager about your concerns.
- Seeking medical advice from a doctor.
- Asking for an occupational health appointment.
It may also be a good idea to write down how you’re feeling each day before speaking to a doctor or your employer so it’s easier to remember how stress has affected you.
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. Therefore, you may be able to seek compensation to cover:
- The suffering you’ve endured that’s been caused by stress. Remember, this includes both physical and psychological suffering.
- Any income you’ve lost because you had to take time off work while you were ill.
- Care costs if you needed support with daily activities while you were recovering.
- Travel expenses related to your injuries.
- Medical costs such as those linked to private counselling.
- Future loss of earnings if your injuries will continue in the long term and affect your ability to earn.
A solicitor from our team will review your claim in detail before filing it with your employer to try and makes sure that everything is included in your stress at work claim.
A range of compensation payouts advised for psychiatric or psychological type issues for which problems caused by stress at work could fall under are shown below.
- 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 £54,830 to £115,730.
- Moderately severe issues caused by stress at work where there are significant issues but the prognosis is generally more optimistic, £19,070 to £54,830.
- Compensation for moderate cases where there may be some problems with the ability to cope with life for example but a marked improvement, £5,860 to £19,070.
- Compensation for stress at work-related problems that are considered less severe, £1,540 to £5,860.
To discuss what compensation you might be eligible to claim for stress at work, contact us today to arrange a free consultation to speak with an advisor.
To prepare for a claim for work-related stress you should try to collate as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This could include:
- Medical notes. You should see a doctor if you’re worried about your stress levels. After they’ve confirmed your diagnosis, your medical records could be used as evidence in your case.
- Witness details. In some cases, your colleagues might be asked to provide a statement to confirm things like your working conditions.
- Correspondence. If you have any emails or letters from your employer regarding your concerns, you should print them or forward them to your solicitor.
- Occupational health reports. If a specialist was asked to review your working conditions, you could use a copy of their report to help confirm that problems were identified.
- Financial documents. Receipts, invoices, bank statements and benefits records could all be used to help prove any costs you’ve incurred relating to your injuries.
Then contact one of our advisors who will review your evidence as part of your no-obligation consultation. If you haven’t taken this step or are in any way unsure where you stand, it is still worth contacting us for free advice.
As with any other type of personal injury claim, you must claim for work-related stress within a 3-year limitation period. Usually, that will period will begin from the date your condition was diagnosed by a doctor.
It’s often a good idea to seek legal representation as soon as possible rather than waiting until the end of the limitation period. That should make it easier for you to remember what led to your illness and how you were affected. It will also mean there will be plenty of time to collect supporting evidence.
In some cases, workplace stress claims can be settled fairly quickly (in 6 to 9 months) if the extent of your suffering is fully understood and your employer accepts liability. Some cases might go beyond a year if liability for your suffering is denied or where more time is needed to investigate your prognosis.
We understand that nobody wants to risk paying for legal help and then losing their case. Therefore, if you choose to start the stress at work claims process with one of our solicitors, and they accept your case, they’ll work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.
That means no upfront solicitors fees and you won’t have to pay for their work if the claim fails. The only time you’ll need to pay for your solicitor’s work is if you are paid compensation by your employer. To find out if you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis, simply call us today on 0800 6524 881.
To learn more about how we can help with stress at work claims, please connect to an advisor via live chat.