Mental Health and Stress in the Workplace – 2/3
9th October, 2018
In the lead up to World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2018, we will be posting a series of short articles discussing mental health and stress in the workplace.
Following on from our article published yesterday, this article will discuss the signs of workplace stress and will briefly highlight the potential claims that an employee may bring.
What are the signs of workplace stress?
Stress is the adverse reaction experienced in response to excessive pressures or demands. Although a certain degree of pressure can help to motivate employees and give them a sense of ambition, which in turn improves job performance and satisfaction, employers should ensure that employees do not become inundated with work. Stress can affect an employee’s health, reduce their productivity and lead to performance issues. Although stress is not an illness, if it is sustained over a period of time, it can lead to or exacerbate existing mental health problems.
What employment claims can an employee bring?
• Breach of contract – an employee suffering from work-related stress may argue that their employer has breached an express or implied term of their contract of employment. Additionally, the employee may have a statutory claim for constructive unfair dismissal.
• Unfair dismissal – if an employee is signed off sick from work due to stress or mental health and is subsequently dismissed, they may have a claim of unfair dismissal.
• Disability discrimination – an employee may be protected from disability discrimination if he/she suffers from mental ill-health which has a substantial adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Anxiety and depression may fall within this definition. Whether an individual’s work-related stress can be regarded as a disability will be a matter for an Employment Tribunal to decide.
• Personal injury.
Our employment law expert, Claire Brook, will be conducting master classes dealing with mental health in the workplace on: 21 November 2018 and 6 February 2019 at our offices in Chester. For further information and to secure your place, please email: [email protected].
For more information on the master classes regarding mental health in the workplace, please see the event listings below: