If you have developed depression or suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of being placed under too much stress at work, a work stress solicitor may be able to claim against your employer. Your employer has a duty to protect you whilst at work from anything that may cause you harm. In some circumstances this can include protecting you from an unreasonable amount of stress. It maybe that the very nature of your job exposes you to traumatic situations.
Remember, the more pressure your employer puts you under, the more steps your employers must take to ensure that that pressure is not going to be harmful to your health. Of course, people who have already suffered from depression, or suffered from one nervous breakdown, maybe more likely to suffer from a second episode.
These claims can be very difficult to prove and it is essential that you seek professional advice from a work stress solicitor at the first opportunity. Clearly if you have already suffered from depression or psychological injury as a result of stress, the last thing you want to do is to have to conduct a stressful compensation claim. You should find an experienced work stress solicitor who will be familiar with this type of case and who will take the stress out of making a claim for you. All you must do is provide information and cooperate with the solicitor acting on your behalf.
Most solicitors operate a no win no fee system whereby if you win your case you will receive most of your compensation. If you should be unlucky enough to lose your claim you will also be protected, by insurance, against having to pay the other side’s costs.
In the leading case of Walker verses Northumberland County Council (1995), the High Court ordered Northumberland County Council to pay damages to an ex-employee. The Court held that as employers, they had a duty not to cause their employee psychiatric damage by giving them too much work and/or insufficient back up support. The general principle is that an employer is usually entitled to assume that the employee can withstand the pressures of the job. However, if it is reasonably foreseeable that there is a risk of injury (which must be a clinically recognisable condition) due to the stress at work then the employer owes the employee a positive duty to make the working environment less stressful. Whilst this case is still good law, the basic principle has effectively been amended by several subsequent cases.