Personal Injury

Can I Claim Compensation for Stress and Anxiety?

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, June 04, 2021

Mental health problems, like stress and anxiety, are incredibly common. According to mental health charity Mind, one in four people in England will experience a mental health problem every year.

A great deal of these cases are caused or made worse by work.

So if you’ve suffered from stress or anxiety, is it possible to claim compensation?

Work-related stress and anxiety

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that in 2019/20, poor mental health made up the largest proportion of work-related ill health.

Stress, anxiety or depression accounted for 51% of work-related ill health. This worked out to 828,000 workers suffering from work-related stress and anxiety in 2019/20 alone.

Common problems that could cause stress and anxiety at work include high workloads, bullying or harassment, insufficient training and not getting the rest breaks and holidays you’re entitled to.

Your employer has a legal duty to ensure your health and safety at work. And this isn’t just your physical health – it includes your mental health.

According to the HSE: “Whether work is causing the [mental] health issue or aggravating it, employers have a legal responsibility to help their employees. Work-related mental health issues must be assessed to measure the levels of risk to staff.”

The HSE advises that managers should make reasonable adjustments at work to accommodate any mental health problems an employee might be suffering. They need to ensure they are providing the assistance, training and support you need to help you work without unnecessarily high stress levels.

Making a claim for stress and anxiety

If your employer has been made aware of the problems that have contributed to your stress or anxiety and has done nothing to help, they could be held responsible. You could then be able to claim compensation from them.

We understand that making a workplace claim might be difficult. It’s an intimidating thought that you might cause an upset at work. But there are protections in place that can go some way to reassuring you.

First, you won’t be claiming directly against your employer – it will be against their insurer. All employers are required to have certain insurance policies in place, and it’s these that cover any workplace stress claims.

That means you won’t directly affect your employer’s finances.

Second, it’s important to remember that your employer is not allowed to sack you for making a claim against them. If they do, they risk an unfair dismissal claim or an employment tribunal.

How does a work-related stress claim work?

Making a claim doesn’t have to be difficult. The team at First4Lawyers and our specialist solicitors will help keep everything as straightforward as possible.

To begin the process, just get in touch. We’ll talk you through your situation and work out whether your employer is responsible for your stress and anxiety. If we think so, we’ll then match you to an expert solicitor, who will let you know whether you have a claim.

They will begin the process of making a claim, which starts when they notify your employer and their insurer that you are claiming.

Your solicitor will put your evidence together to make your claim as strong as possible. To help them do this, you should respond quickly to any requests for information. This could include any formal notices of your mental health issues you gave to your employer.

And it’s important that you informed your employer of your poor mental health, otherwise they could claim that they didn’t know anything about it and were not required to help.

They’ll then negotiate to get you the compensation you could be entitled to for your stress and anxiety.

To have a chat with our compassionate and understanding claims advisors, just give us a call or start your claim online.

Everyone should be protected at work and it’s our job to help when you aren’t.

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