Stress At Work Compensation

An overload of stress at work can be serious, with the potential to cause physical and mental health issues. If you are dealing with excessive stress in the workplace, you need to address the situation to protect your wellbeing. While stress at work compensation is not a legal right, there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself and your health.Stress At Work Compensation

Your employer has a duty to take reasonable action to protect your welfare. If they are failing, you can ask them to make the changes you need. In the most serious situation, if you have developed a psychiatric illness because of occupational stress, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

At Toner Legal, our experienced employment lawyers can assess whether you meet the criteria for making a claim and represent you to obtain compensation for workplace stress-induced illnesses.

Is there compensation for stress at work?

Compensation is not directly payable for stress at work, but where the stress has been serious enough to cause an illness, you may have a claim. If you have worked for your employer for two years or more and you have had to resign because of overwhelming workplace stress, you may be able to claim for constructive dismissal.

However, if you are going through a stressful time at work, it is best to take advice before taking action, which includes dismissal. It is often the case that resigning weakens your position and you may lose the opportunity to negotiate an exit.

This is why we often say, don’t resign, take advice, act quickly.

How should I handle stress at work?

While a certain amount of workplace stress is normal, when it is more severe, it can start to impact health.

If you are dealing with stress at work, the first step is generally to speak to your line manager, HR department or employer to explain the situation and what you are finding difficult. You can consider what you would like to be different and ask them if they are able to make the changes you need.

If this does not help and the stress continues, you can see your doctor and ask for their recommendations. They may decide to sign you off from work. You should follow your employer’s sickness policy if you take time away from your job.

Where your employer has failed to make the changes you need, you can speak to an employment lawyer to discuss your options.

What do employers have to do about stress at work?

Employers have a duty of care to protect employees from significant and foreseeable risks to their health.

They should assess any risks and take any necessary steps to deal with these.

In deciding whether stress is likely to cause health issues, employers should consider the following:

  • Whether the workload is more than would be considered usual for the job in question
  • Whether the work you are expected to do is more than is expected of others in the same role
  • Whether the effect of the stress amounts to a disability

Disability discrimination and stress

In cases of extreme stress, the effects may amount to a disability. You would need to prove the following:

  • Physical or mental impairment that is causing substantial adverse effects and difficulty with normal activities
  • Effects that are long-term, generally for at least a year and not related to a short-term issue

If the stress you are under is enough to constitute a disability, then your employer must ensure they do not breach the Equality Act 2010 in dealing with your situation. This prevents them from treating you less favourably than someone else because of your disability.

If you are classed as having a disability, then your employer is also required to make reasonable adjustments to help you cope. These could include:

  • Different working hours, such as flexible working
  • More breaks, even if these are shorter
  • A change to the way you do your job
  • Changes to your working environment, such as your own room or working at home
  • Reducing workload or responsibilities
  • Moving to a different role

Raising a grievance for stress at work

If you have approached your employer but they have not dealt with the situation, you can consider raising a formal grievance. You should follow their grievance procedure when doing this.

It is often the case that once a formal grievance has been started, an employer will take the steps needed to address the problem.

For more information, see our Grievances at Work and How to Writer a Letter of Grievance pages. If you are leaning toward leaving the business, then raising a grievance is usually not recommended (this is something that you can discuss with us).

Stress and constructive dismissal

If your stress has been excessive and you have resigned because you felt you had no other option, you may have a valid claim for constructive dismissal if you have been employed for two years or more. Contact us, and we will discuss the situation with you and whether you can make a claim against your employer.

If you have not yet resigned, speak to us first, as it is generally easier to deal with matters while you are still employed. We may be able to negotiate an exit agreement for you, with your employer paying you a sum in settlement when you leave.

Contact our employment lawyers for stress at work

If you are experiencing stress in your job, contact us today to talk about stress at work compensation. We know how hard it is to deal with the burden of workplace stress and we will do all we can to assist.

To speak to one of our expert employment lawyers, call our team on 0207 118 9218 or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will contact you.


This blog is for information purposes only. Nothing should be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice and nothing written should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a lawyer-client relationship.

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