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Stress at Work

Stress at work is a major problem. The Health & Safety Executive reports that the latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) show that the total number of cases of stress in 2011/12 was 428,000 (almost 40%) out of a total of 1,073,000 for all work-related illnesses.

The same survey showed the main work activities said to cause their work-related stress, or make it worse, was work pressure, lack of managerial support anf work-related violence and bullying.

Besides the obvious cost to society and industry generally, the cost to the health of an individual can be immeasurable in monetary terms. Those unfortunate enough to be subjected to a constant flow of excessive work or to be the target of a serial bully can suffer catastrophic mental breakdown leading to the permanent loss of their health, career and sometimes even family.

At Dutton Gregory we have a proven track record of fighting occupational stress claims successfully and of setting important precedents in the field. Since 2001 when we secured the first major award of damages for the victim of a 'first breakdown' in Long-v-Mercury Communications we have continued to be at the forefront of a developments in psychiatric injury claims especially those resulting from bullying.

We led the way in opening the possibility of claims under the Protection from Harassment Act in the case of Majrowski v Guys and St Thomas's NHS Trust and since then have advised and represented 100s of people in occupational stress, bullying and discrimination claims; including representing the Claimant in Michalak v Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust which was the largest ever Employment Tribunal award of £4.5 million.

There is a wide variety of claims which can arise from the background to stress at work claims and the way they are handled by employers. Each of these possible claims has different 'rules' which govern its validity and different hurdles to overcome before it can succeed.

The truth is the law around psychiatric injury at work is a mess and has become so difficult that we call it a legal Gordian Knot (for more about this and about the relevant law, you may want to look at the specialist 'Chop the Knot' blog Nick Hanning maintains).

Even though each individual case is uniquely complex and can be difficult to navigate through the maze of legal issues, our expertise and experience in the field means you can be sure that every avenue will be explored thoroughly and with authoritative knowledge and skill.

If you'd like to explore the possibility of bringing a claim, complete and return our enquiry form. We will review this without charge and advise on the merit of our carrying out a full review of the possible claims.