Work related stress can have very serious consequences in terms of your physical and psychological health, but it is not a condition that is particularly well understood in the UK, and especially by a surprising number of employers.
However, back in 2010 the European Heart Journal published an of 6014 British civil servants mapping their health over an 11 year period [ in the snappily titled “Overtime work and incident coronary heart disease: the Whitehall II prospective cohort study”]. The findings of this comprehensive study appears to have confirmed what many scientists have been saying for years – that working the very long hours which are often encouraged in the UK [where, the study confirmed, the average worker’s hours exceeds that of workers in any other EU country], can lead to heart problems on top of stress, sleeping problems, emotional distress and poor digestive functions.
Work related stress arises when people have unpleasant reactions of mind or body to the undue pressure placed upon them in the workplace. It is estimated that 1.5 million people in the UK suffer from work related illnesses each year, of which well over a quarter specifically suffer from work-related stress. Such stress affects different people in a variety of different ways, depending on their individual physical and psychological characteristics, which makes it a particularly difficult condition to understand and confront. However, employers have a responsibility to look for signs that employees may be beginning to succumb to work related stress and must respond accordingly to prevent development of the condition. Unfortunately, there seems to have been a growing trend in the UK for large companies to factor the cost of work related stress compensation claim payouts into their budgets rather than working to resolve the issues that contribute to such stress.
Those who suffer from work related stress may be able to make a claim for compensation provided that they can prove the following:
1. That their employer should have noticed that they were succumbing to work related stress
2. That their employer did not take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that they did not come to harm therefore failing to discharge their legal duty of care to the employee
Whilst these two things may have been obvious to you, they may not have been obvious to the defendant and so proving the grounds for your claim can be extremely difficult in what can be a very subjective field.
Work-related stress claims are never easy, but is for that reason that you will need legal advice from a personal injury solicitor with specialist experience of stress related claims. Appointing the right solicitor means that they can concentrate on winning a swift settlement for you whilst you focus on your recovery safe in the knowledge that your claim is in the safest possible hands.
As part of the evidence in your case, your solicitor will need to instruct one or more independent medical expert to produce a detailed medical reports with regard to your physical and psychological condition in their attempt to prove that any harm you suffered was due to the negligence of your employer..
Tim Bishop is senior partner of Bonallack and Bishop, Solicitors in Salisbury who specialise in accident compensation claims using no win no fee agreements. Click here for advice on claiming compensation, phone them on 01722 422300 or for more information about using no win no fee agreements, visit their website at http://solicitorsinsalisbury.co.uk.