Stress Work Load
Work-related stress claims usually concern the situation where the employee has suffered a psychiatric illness as a result of excessive pressure and/or harassment at work and has usually gone on long-term sick leave and/or has resigned or been dismissed by the employer. Examples of behaviour which can cause work-related stress include: overloading the employee with work; unduly criticising the employee; threatening and shouting at the employee; and ostracising the employee.
In order to bring a successful work-related stress claim, the employee must show that they have suffered a recognised psychiatric illness caused by stress at work, the employer breached their duty of care towards the employee e.g. the employer knew or ought to have known that the employee’s working environment posed a real risk of causing that illness and the employer did not do everything that was reasonable in the circumstances to keep the employee safe from harm such as carrying out risk assessments. However, the key element in a work-related stress claim is foreseeability e.g. the claimant must prove that the psychiatric injury was foreseeable by the employer which tends to be difficult to prove.
A claim for work-related stress must be brought in the Courts and has a 3-year limitation period. Compensation is potentially unlimited and often include loss of earnings as well as for the personal injury suffered.