When you get physically injured at work, you may be entitled to claim compensation to help you recover and get back on your feet, but what about stress that is impacting your ability to perform your everyday activities? Our mental wellbeing is just as important as our physical health, so yes, you can claim compensation for work-related stress, however, like a physical injury, some conditions must be met to ensure you are eligible. Here is everything you need to know.
What Is Work-Related Stress?
Work-related stress is caused by or exacerbated by work. It typically needs to be formally diagnosed by a medical professional before you can claim compensation. It is not uncommon to deal with stress at work, but when it cannot be alleviated once finishing up from a shift, it can quickly become an all-consuming problem and over time, it can take a toll on one’s psychological health. For some, it can have dire consequences when left untreated. People experience work-related stress for an array of reasons and here in Australia work-related stress is one of the leading reasons people claim compensation.
Taking Time Away From Work
If you are experiencing high stress due to your job, it may be in your best interests to take a break. You can use your sick leave or annual leave to recharge. If you are suffering from a psychological illness due to your job and your mental wellbeing is compromised, this is when it might be a good idea to look at compensation if you are needing extra time off to manage your health. You should check your companies policies to understand your rights, just remember stress is considered an illness and you are entitled to take stress leave whether that is paid or unpaid.
Am I Eligible To Claim For Work-Related Stress?
To be entitled to be compensation, your employment must have played a major role in the level of stress you are experiencing, not outside factors such as your personal life. If the stress has led to a psychological injury, you are more likely to receive compensation than those claiming for stress alone. It will come down to your circumstances and if you feel you are not being heard or supported by your employer, it is a good idea to seek legal advice on what to do next.
Some Causes Of Work-Related Stress
Here are some common causes of work-related stress:
- Workplace bullying
- Long hours
- Change in role
- Job uncertainty
- Strict deadlines
- Monotonous and repetitive work
- Not having the knowledge, skills or equipment to complete work that is being asked of you
- Trauma sustained while working
- Unsafe or extreme working conditions
- Lack of support
Signs Of Work-Related Stress
Here are some common physical and non-physical signs that you may be experiencing work-related stress:
Physical Indications Of Stress
- Trouble sleeping
- Getting sick often
- Low libido
- Unusual bowel motions
- Irregular heart rate or chest pain
- Getting clammy and sweating more than usual
- Laboured breathing
- Mood swings
- Negative thoughts
- Lack of confidence
- Trouble with memory
- General unhappiness
The symptoms of stress can vary from person to person as everyone has different ways of coping. You know your body best and if you are concerned that you may be suffering from work-related stress, you should seek advice from your doctor.
How Much May I Be Entitled To When Claiming For Work-Related Stress?
When seeking compensation for work-related stress, how much you will receive depends on a few factors, such as:
- The severity of your situation
- The role your employer has played
- The impacts it has placed on your life
- Whether it will affect your ability to work in the future
Getting advice from a legal professional is the best way to get an idea of how much you may receive given your circumstances. Reputable injury lawyers have a breadth of knowledge and experience and would have dealt with hundreds if not thousands of cases similar to yours. They will be able to give you a ballpark figure and can also advise you of what to expect throughout the process.
Workplace Stress Is Everyone’s Responsibility
Stress can have huge repercussions on your overall health and you should seek help when you need it. Suffering from workplace stress is not only bad for you but also your employer. It can lead to reduced performance which can affect the productivity of the business. Both employees and employers must look at ways they can prevent stress within the workplace. As an employee, you should address when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work so your employer can help. As an employer, you should have strategies in place to reduce work-related stress and assist staff with their issues if they are having any.
Seek Legal Advice
If you have sought help from your employer concerning your stress to no avail, you don’t have to just keep pushing through with a ‘she’ll be right’ mentality. Speak to a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options, you may be entitled to compensation. Strict time frames apply with work-related stress claims, so it is better to seek advice sooner rather than later. Our team here at South East Injury Lawyers specialise in this area of the law and can help you determine whether you have a compensation claim or not. Contact us today for an obligation-free consultation.