Stress Awareness Month: Worker Compensation For Stress at Work Claims

Photo Credits - Aarón Blanco Tejedor via Unsplash

April marks the stress awareness month for 2024. With that said, it’s important to address all areas of stress in the workplace. Many work in hectic environments where the hustle is real and expectations are sky-high. If this is the case, it’s normal to feel some levels of work-related stress. But when it starts feeling like an incredible weight on the shoulders and affects happiness, it’s time to take action.

So, let’s dive into how stress can appear at work and the symptoms those affected may experience. We’ll discuss what employers should do about it and whether employees can sue them if they’re dropping the ball. Then, we’ll cover how eligible employees can prepare for their lawsuits and the compensation levels successful individuals could expect.

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Decoding Work Stress: Causes & Symptoms Unveiled

Stress and anxiety at work can be challenging to spot because it’s invisible, unlike other forms of harm. Yet, we can only help each other with stress in the workplace if we can identify its causes and symptoms. Since we’re in stress awareness month, there’s no better time to educate ourselves.

From workplace discrimination to being given an excessive workload, many employer shortfalls could negatively impact employee well-being. Other examples include employees being assigned work outside their capabilities, being tasked with unachievable deadlines or being bullied. Given the breadth of employer failings highlighted, employees could endure a catalogue of workplace stress symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Concentration problems
  • Forgetfulness
  • Eating difficulties

These symptoms could be critical to an employee’s health and productivity at work. As such, it’s vitally important employers monitor their employees and support their well-being.

Navigating Work-Related Stress Claims: Eligibility, Essentials, and Expectations

During stress awareness month, it’s also crucial to empower employees with knowledge about holding their employers accountable for insufficient conduct. But before spotlighting the potential legal actions an employee could take, it’s essential to highlight the other measures they should attempt first.

Speaking with an employer about the issue causing stress is often enough to see change. Employers may have been unaware of the problem or how it was affecting the employee. Once the employer is informed of the situation, they may resolve it.

READ: £5m Pregnancy Discrimination Claim Had “No Prospect of Success”, Says Tribunal; Greycoat Executive to Pay £225K in Costs

However, there are cases where an ordinary conversation isn’t enough. If this is the case, the employee could raise a formal grievance. When this happens, the employer will likely take the stressful problem more seriously, as they’ll want to avoid litigation.

Yet, if the issue remains unresolved, an employee could consider a work-related stress claim. They would first need to undertake ACAS early conciliation but would then be able to proceed with their claim. At this stage, the employee should consider gathering evidence to outline the stressful events, including medical notes and employer correspondence.

Making a Claim in Stress Awareness Month

When making a claim, a number could be available to the employee. For example:

  • If an employee suffers from stress at work, which substantially affects their ability in the long-term to carry out routine, everyday tasks, they could be considered to have an Equality Act 2010 disability. With this in mind, unfavourable employer behaviour could lead to a disability discrimination claim being made.
  • An unfair dismissal claim could be viable if an employer appears to dismiss an employee solely because of their stress. This would only not be the case if the employer could prove they had a fair reason for dismissing the employee whilst following an equally fair process.
  • An employee may be entitled to file a constructive dismissal claim if their employer fails to take reasonable steps to assist an employee in coping with stress. Here, the employee would claim their employer’s conduct broke down the relationship of mutual trust and confidence, entitling them to leave. However, these claims are known for being difficult to win, so receiving expert legal advice before proceeding is advisable.
Stress Awareness Month - Work-related stress claims include: disability discrimination, unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal.

In addition to the above employment tribunal claims a personal injury claim through the civil courts could be made.

Work-Related Stress Claims – Average Payout

When an employee initiates employment tribunal proceedings, several factors influence the compensation they may receive. From the impact of the unacceptable conduct on the individual to its effect on their earnings, compensation levels vary in each case, making it challenging to predict exact awards.

However, estimations become possible in cases where an employee seeks personal injury compensation through an employment tribunal because workplace discrimination caused their stress. Here, personal injury compensation can be gauged using the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

READ: Sex Discrimination Claim Dismissed: London Underground Upholds Saturday Work Policy

For severe psychological issues, compensation ranging from £54,830 to £115,730 may be awarded. However, if the issues are moderately severe, compensation would typically fall between £19,070 to £54,830. Yet, if the issues were moderate, the compensation would likely range from £5,860 to £19,070.

[Please note that new JCG figures were published on 5 April 2024, meaning the above will soon be updated].

Stress Awareness Month – Get Help!

If you believe you have a claim and want help pursuing compensation, contact Redmans Solicitors now. They are employment law specialists and could assess your eligibility to claim compensation before advising on your possible next steps.

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