How to Prepare a Claim for Work-Related Stress

There are some people who don’t seem to be affected by stress – work-related or otherwise. But if you’re not one of those few lucky people, you’re likely to experience stress at work.

This usually happens in varying degrees. One day might be relatively easy, while you could be tearing your hair out the next.

But if your stress levels are consistently high and your job is the cause, you may be able to do something about it. If your employer has not done anything to help reduce your stress levels, despite being made aware of the issue, you could be able to make a work-related stress claim.

The effects of work-related stress

The University of Cambridge’s HR department has said that when stress is not controlled, the person and the company employing them both suffer. The department has listed a number of effects someone under stress may experience.

This includes physical effects, such as disturbed sleep, headaches, high blood pressure and even heart disease. The emotional effects can include anxiety, depression, irritability and moods that change quickly.

But there are other effects, that can have an impact on the way you work. You could suffer from a lack of concentration and motivation, as well as find it difficult to think clearly. Memory loss and poor decision-making are also some of the more common effects of work-related stress.

These effects could cause your productivity to drop, so it’s in your employer’s best interest to keep your stress levels as low as possible. It may not be possible to eliminate stress completely, but your employer should put measures in place to keep it at a reasonable level.

What should my employer do?

Employers should do what is reasonable to minimise the levels of stress you and your colleagues face. They can start by carrying out a stress risk assessment. These are used to identify any risks to your mental health. Your employer should then try to reduce these risks.

If you then tell your employer about the stress you’ve been experiencing, they should act on it. They should ensure you have the support you need to handle stress and help you manage its effects.

The Health and Safety Executive advises that if work is causing or aggravating a mental health problem, “employers have a legal responsibility to help their employees”. The organisation also instructs managers to make reasonable adjustments to work to accommodate these issues.

But if they do nothing and you’re left to deal with your stress on your own, you could be able to make a claim against them. This is because your employer could be seen as negligent.

Can I make a work-related stress claim?

Just because you’ve been stressed at work, doesn’t automatically mean you can make a compensation claim against your employer. Certain things need to be in place to be able to go ahead with a claim.

You need to have informed your employer of the stress you’ve been experiencing. You also need to be under severe levels of stress, as well as have a medical diagnosis of stress. So it's important to get medical treatment if you plan to prepare a claim.

But don’t forget that if you’ve suffered from work-related stress and want to make a claim, you have a certain timeframe to do it in.

In most cases, you’ll have three years from the date you first realised you were experiencing stress caused by work. This deadline is typically very strict – there are few circumstances where you might be able to submit a claim after three years has passed.

So if you think you might have a work-related stress claim, the best thing to do is get legal help as soon as you can.

How to make a work-related stress claim

First4Lawyers could help you make a claim against your employer for the ill health you’ve suffered. Just give us a call or start your claim online to speak to one of our friendly and understanding advisors.

If we think you have a valid claim, we’ll match you to one of our specialist solicitors. If they agree with our assessment, they’ll take on your case – usually on a No Win No Fee basis. They will then take over the management of your case.

Your solicitor will need certain details from you, but they will do the work of contacting your employer and their insurer about the claim. They will negotiate with them to get you the compensation you’re entitled to.

And if you’re worried about the consequences of making a claim against your employer, remember that it is against employment law to sack you because of it. If they do, they then open themselves up to an unfair dismissal claim.

To find out how to begin the process of claiming, just get in touch.


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