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Work-related stress is the harmful physical or psychological reaction that occurs when people are subject to excessive work demands. The Health and Safety Executive claim that stress is the second most commonly reported condition in work related illness. An estimated 428,000 workers suffer annually from stress caused or made worse by their employment, leading to an estimated 10.4 million working days lost.


Stress affects different people in different ways and everyone has their own method for dealing with the effects. The chemicals that are released by your body as a reaction to stress can build up over time and lead to various mental and physical symptoms such as:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Changes in Behaviour
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling tired
  • Chest Pains
  • Constipation or diarrhoea

Defining Work-related Stress

Following a large study by the HSE, the conclusion drawn was that there is no simple and universal definition; this is due to the complex nature of work-related stress. The report suggests that stress is looked upon and treated as a process, rather than an illness. In terms of determining the presence of a case, they identified five critical elements:

  • The report of experience of work-related stress
  • Evidence of exposure to psychological hazards associated with work
  • Evidence of the onset of a new condition of clinical significance or of the worsening of an existing condition of similar level of significance
  • Evidence of a significant consequence, either in terms of absence from work or a change in frequency of visits to the general practitioner
  • Lack of evidence of any major confounding individual difference or circumstance


How to deal with Stress

In many ways the best way to deal with work-related stress is through communication. You should inform your employer that you are struggling to deal with elements of your employment and in turn, they have a responsibility to support you in dealing with the issues.

What if no-one listens?

Your employer has a duty of care to ensure that you are not exposed to danger or threat during your employment, and that includes mental issues, including stress. If your employer fails to take workplace stress seriously and it leads to a detrimental effect upon your health, you could be eligible to claim for compensation against them. Contact one of our solicitors today who will be able to listen to your concern and advise you accordingly. We have years of experience in dealing with these kinds of cases and will swiftly be able to help you.