How Much Compensation Can I Claim for Stress at Work? – 2020 Update

We spend a lot of our lives at work in some form or another and whether you are a welder, office worker, teacher, doctor or lawyer, then the ideal situation is that you enjoy what you do. However, UK workplaces are becoming more and more stressful, and as workers are put under pressure due to budget constraints leading to heavier workloads, it stands to reason that this can dampen their enjoyment of their role. According to a report in the Independent, referenced on the NHS’s website, one out of every 20 complaints of anxiety, depression and/or stress, can be attributed to work related stress.

Stress at work

Stress at work

When stress at work or harassment is caused by your employer – either directly or because of unfair work practices, then the effects can be extremely debilitating. Some of the initial symptoms of stress can include racing thoughts, feelings of being overwhelmed or anxious, lacking self-esteem and while you may think this only affects the mind, it can lead to physical symptoms too, including, headaches, sleep problems, eating problems, muscle aches and pains and more. You can check your levels of stress yourself on the NHS’ stress at work risk assessment page, but chances are, if you’re reading this page, you are already aware of how much stress you’re under. The problem is, what can you do about it? If you have exhausted your attempts to resolve things yourself, or have been forced to take time off due to the stress at work you have encountered, then Accident Claims may be able to help you make stress at work claims for compensation, both for the physical and mental trauma you have experienced, and financial losses you may have suffered too. If you’d like to speak to our team of experts about your workplace stress compensation, whether it is to ask about stress at work statistics , or to ascertain the average payout for stress at work, then call us now on 0800 073 8801 and we will be happy to help.

If you’d like to know more about stress at work before you speak to us, then simply click the sections below to navigate to your most pressing concerns about stress at work claims or statistics.

Select a section

  1. A Guide to Claiming Compensation for Stress at Work
  2. Work Related Stress Statistics
  3. What is Work Related Stress?
  4. What Are the Most Common Causes of Stress at Work?
  5. Mental Health and Work-Related Stress Compensation Claims
  6. Employers Legal Requirements and Responsibilities
  7. How Work-Related Stress Affects Different Employees
  8. Stress at Work and the Armed Forces
  9. Stress at Work and the Emergency Services
  10. Stress at Work and Self Employed or Contract Workers
  11. What to Do If You Have Suffered from Stress at Work
  12. Do I have a stress at work compensation claim?
  13. What Can Compensation for Stress at Work Claims Include?
  14. How Much Can I Claim for Work Related Stress?
  15. How to Start A Workplace Stress Compensation Claim
  16. No Win No Fee Stress at Work Claims
  17. Why Choose Accident Claims for Your Stress at Work Claim?
  18. Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim
  19. Useful Links

A Guide to Claiming Compensation for Stress at Work

Stress can, in some small ways, be somewhat of a motivator at work, but when heavy or prolonged stress causes you to become ill, then you may feel more demotivated than you ever have. The mental, emotional and physical symptoms associated with stress can have far-reaching consequences, both on our careers and our relationships as well as our own health. If you or someone you know is suffering or has suffered with heavy or prolonged amounts of stress due to the workplace, their employer or unsafe working practices, then it is only right that you should be compensated for it. If you are wondering how much compensation can I claim, then it is important to remember that here at Accident Claims, we have heard tales of stress at work many times before. We are on hand to offer actionable advice on how much can I claim for work related stress with no obligation to utilise our workplace stress compensation services should you not wish to do so. If you do, we will walk through the steps needed to make workplace stress claims, advising you of the process itself, and providing to you an experienced solicitor to fight your case for you, ultimately leading to the best chance of securing compensation for work related stress and depression.

You may have only realised after leaving a position that you have been under stress at work, and if this is the case, you may be under the misapprehension that you wouldn’t have a claim. This could not be further than the truth. In most cases you can claim up to six years after you have suffered stress at work, so please do not hesitate to get in touch, and we can help ascertain whether you would have a claim. In the guide below, we hope to answer all of the pressing questions you have about making a claim, along with providing information on how common stress is in the workplace, and what can cause workplace stress. Should you have any questions about stress at work compensation payouts or anything else about a work-related stress claims employment tribunal, then we can easily assist with these if you get in contact with us.

Work Related Stress Statistics

Stress can be a difficult thing to cope with, and you may feel like you are the only person dealing with it. However, this is not the case. A simple look at the Health and Safety Executive’s website shows some shocking statistics about how common workplace stress is, and it is such a problem that they offer guidance to employers as to how to reduce stress in the workplace.

Some of the statistics involving workplace stress, according to the HSE include:

  • In 2016/17 526,000 workers were said to be suffering with workplace stress
  • In this year, it was reported that 40% of all work-related illness was due to anxiety, stress or depression, which accounted for 49% of sick days taken
  • In the same year, it was thought that twelve and a half million working days were lost due to stress, anxiety or depression in the workplace

If you were wondering which industries have been hardest hit by workplace stress, the graph below should provide interesting reading.

In addition to this, the causes appear to be as follows:

As you can see, workload stress and lack of support from management and peers feature quite heavily in the causes of stress, as well as violence, threats or bullying.

Whatever the cause of your stress in the workplace, or the industry you work in, making a claim for work related stress is something that you should consider seriously if it is to become less of a problem in the future. Only by taking action to claim compensation for stress at work can an employer’s action or negligence be highlighted, and measures put in place to prevent the same thing happening to other members of staff.

What is work related stress?

According to the HSE, work-related stress can be deemed an adverse reaction to demands or pressures put on someone by their work/employer. It is important, therefore that employers match employees’ skills and knowledge to their role to prevent undue pressure or unfair demands on them. One way in which they can do this is by following the HSE’s suggestions for the provision of proper training, planning and support for their employees. As we are all unique, however, it is important to note that stress affects different people in different ways, and to different levels. Experience and skill are just two things that might have an effect on the stress a person feels. Other factors may include age or disabilities might also affect how a person deals with pressure at work.

This is why it is important for employers to undertake stress risk assessments for their employees. In such an assessment, possible stress triggers should be noticed and reduced as much as possible in order to protect the employee. If such a risk assessment is not completed, then an employer may be liable should an employee make a claim for stress at work.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Stress at Work?

There are a huge number of stressors in any workplace, but the most common causes, as referenced in the graph earlier, tend to be as follows. Often, we are asked questions like do I have a stress at work compensation claim with the following factors:

Too heavy a workload – Whether a shortage of staff has occurred, and work has been left with too few employees or whether budget constraints have come into play with the hiring of extra staff, if an employee has too much to do in too little time, over time this can have a debilitating effect on the stress levels of the employee.

Not enough work. – In contrast, the lack of workload can also cause stress to an employee. Those with little to do than watch the clock tick down to the end of the working day can become demotivated or depressed. Lack of workload can also lead to worry that their job may not be there long term and they may be at risk of being made redundant.

Lack of training or experience – As mentioned before, an employee’s skills and experience should be matched with the role that is expected of them. Not doing so, or not providing the relevant training that the employee needs to be able to do the job properly can lead to heavy stress. This can also be true where staff are promoted to positions that require further training and that training is not given, such as those promoted to management who have no experience in managing others.

Bullying and harassment at work – whether by peers or management, this can be quite a serious situation. Feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression can result as a consequence.

Not enough support – Without any guidance or support from peers or management, an employee may feel that they have been left ‘in the deep end’ without the support they need to do their job properly or deal with things if something has gone wrong. This can lead to feelings of isolation, which again, can be a trigger for work related stress.

Being micro-managed – Those persons expected to work within a highly regimented workforce, including the police, the army etc., can suffer with stress caused by the lack of freedom to think or act for themselves. This can also occur in some office environments where management tries to control every detail of a person’s role.

Physical Stressors – Working in conditions that are uncomfortable such as being too hot, too cold, too damp or otherwise uncomfortable can not only lead to issues with the physical health but can also cause stress.

Poor corporate culture – If a workplace has become a somewhere that regularly plays ‘the blame game’ or is highly pressurised due to intense competition, this can lead to work related stress.

These are the most common workplace stress claims seen, but there are, of course, others. Should you have suffered undue stress at work for any reason, you really should call to see if you might have a claim for compensation.

Mental Health and Work-Related Stress Compensation Claims

It can be very complicated to differentiate between mental illness caused by other factors and that which is caused by work related stress and this is why one stress at work claim amount differs from another, even if they seem similar. This is because some symptoms can be very similar to other psychological issues. Depression, for example, can cause many of the same symptoms as stress but it is by no means the same. Since every case can have its own set of unique circumstances, and depression can be caused by work related stress itself, you can see why this requires the assistance of people who understand all the differences and links between the different types of stress, and other mental illnesses.

It is therefore essential that a medical professional is able to evaluate each and every case of possible work-related stress on its own merits, to ascertain whether the stress has been caused by work, or whether it is due to other factors outside of the workplace, such as relationship issues, or a loss in the family.

If the medical professional diagnoses that the stress has been caused by work, then the impact on the victim’s life can be measured and a compensation proposal can be put forward for review. We are in the position to arrange for a solicitor to sort out a medical appointment for you to see an independent professional who will be able to talk to you and come to a conclusion on whether your stress is work related or not. We can also help give you some idea of a work-related stress compensation calculator, which should give a guideline amount of how much you can claim.

Employers Legal Requirements and Responsibilities

There are stringent rules that require employers to ensure a certain duty of care to their employees, and they need to abide by these, but when it comes to stress, it can be a little complicated. The HSE have offered guidance to employers on spotting and dealing with stress risks, and as well as including stress on any risk assessments where necessary.

The guidance issued by the HSE can be very useful in pinpointing causes of stress that your employer should be aware of, which include:

Change – Organisational changes in the workplace should be managed properly so that they do not cause undue stress to employees

Role – The role that the person has should be fully understood, and it needs to be ensured that the role is not conflicted

Relationships – Promotion of a good working relationship with peers and managers as well as conflict avoidance and the right ways of dealing with behaviour that is unacceptable are important to reduce stress

Support – Peers, management and the organisation itself should be supportive and encouraging.

Control – The member of staff should have enough control over how they do their work

Demands – Working patterns, work load and the working environment should be optimised to avoid stress

How Work-Related Stress Affects Different Employees

Work related stress can affect people differently, depending on the person that they are, the type of pressures they are under, or the position that they hold. For example, a person in a busy office with too heavy a load of paperwork might be suffering from stress, which may cause them to feel tearful, overwhelmed and anxious. However, a person who has served in the armed forces may have been witness to a traumatic event that led them to suffer stress leading to feelings of helplessness and depression. We at Accident Claims know only too well how different situations, industries, and people make up stress at work cases, and we are well-equipped to deal with any number or type of stress at work cases. Some of the more common types of stress at work cases are covered in the paragraphs below, but if yours isn’t, do get in contact and we will happily listen to your story and talk to you about whether your case is valid.

Stress at Work and the Armed Forces

PTSD is common for those that have served in the armed forces, or indeed are still serving now. Making a claim for compensation in this regard can require you to apply to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for compensation. This is something we are well able to assist you with. We know how much stress you are likely to have been under and therefore we aim to make the process of making armed forces stress at work claims as simple for you as possible.

Stress at Work and the Emergency Services

Whether you work in the emergency services as a police officer, paramedic, or as a fire officer, then you are likely to suffer stress as a result of the things you have to experience as part of your job. If signs of stress are not spotted however or are not acted upon with the right support from your line managers or employer, then you may well have a claim for stress at work as an emergency services worker. While you might be under the impression that the government should compensate you accordingly, such as the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme does for those in the military, this is not the case and you are classed as a civilian, expected to make claims against your employer as any other type of worker would. This does not mean it has to be difficult though. Accident Claims are on hand to offer support and to provide you with an experienced solicitor who will make the process as stress-free as is possible.

Stress at Work and Self Employed or Contract Workers

Self-employed or contract workers can also suffer from stress at work. No matter what type of job they do, the same stressors might be put upon them as is the way for fully employed people. In the latter 1990s, the government made changes to the law by introducing the IR35 laws. These were meant to change tax legislation, by way of viewing contract or freelance workers in the same way as those fully employed when it comes to taxation. This view, however, also meant that those long-term contract or freelance workers who have worked for a specific company for some time, should also be treated in the same way as a standard employee when it comes to the situation when a contract worker or freelancer wishes to claim for work related stress.

What to Do If You Have Suffered from Stress at Work

If you are in the awful position of having suffered work related stress, there are certain steps you can take to help yourself, whether you are looking to claim for compensation or not. The first is to self-assess to see whether your stress could be caused by work. This self-assessment tool may help you to do this. Once you have done so, it is important to document your stress timeline. Try to remember when it was that the symptoms started to occur, and any triggers that might have set them off at that particular time. Also document when/whether you have spoken to your employer or manager about the situation and any action that they have taken, if indeed they have taken any action.

In addition to this, it is vital that you see someone to talk about your symptoms and get professional help. Seeing your GP for a referral to a counsellor or seeking private help can be vital in your recovery. As part of this, it is a good idea to examine the effects that you feel the stress has had on your life. Consider the impact it has had on your relationships, your social life, your enjoyment of day to day activities and any physical impact, such as sleep, appetite etc. It may be useful to note these down as they may form the basis of an impact statement of sorts.

As well as noting down the effects that the stress has had on you physically and mentally, it is essential that you record any losses in terms of monetary losses, such as loss of earnings, or even extra bills such as medical bills, travel costs to medical appointments etc. In some cases, you may have had to cancel a holiday due to the stress you have been under. If this is the case, this may form part of your compensation claim.

Finally, it is a good idea to get good solid advice from a legal perspective. Here at Accident Claims we are able to offer no obligation advice that you can rely on. Our fully trained legal experts will be able to advise on your case and provide a solicitor that can fight your case so that you are in receipt of the maximum compensation possible for your stress.

Do I have a stress at work compensation claim?

When it comes to proving a stress at work compensation case, it is essential that you understand that you not only have to prove that the stress was caused by work, but that it has had an effect on you. It must be shown that you have psychiatric injuries/illness that has been medically recognised. You must also prove that your work had an obvious risk of being the cause of such an illness/injury and that your employer should have known or did know about this risk and that you were exposed to it. In addition, when the foreseeable risk exists, you need to prove that your employer did not act accordingly to reduce such as risk and as such, beached their duty of care.

What Can Compensation for Stress at Work Claims Include?

When you’re looking at the different compensation types that stress at work typically pays out for you’ll notice there are several different types. Firstly, you will likely receive a general damages payout for the pain/suffering you’ve experienced, but you can also find medical and travel costs as part of the claim too. Essentially, if you have suffered or incurred costs you would not have done should you not have been affected, then it should be compensated for. Lost earnings are especially relevant here.

How Much Can I Claim for Work Related Stress?

There are a huge variety of different types of payout you can receive for stress at work claims, but this is entirely dependent on how severe your symptoms have been and what sort of prognosis you’re looking for. The table below shows some examples.

Psychiatric HarmAcuteBetween £41,675 and £88,000Bad effect on quality of life. Severe symptoms that are likely to last for a long while.
Psychiatric HarmModerately AcuteBetween £14,500 and £41,675Medium term quality of life affected
Psychiatric HarmAverageBetween £4,450 and £14,500Stress which has no long term issues and is mostly confined to the workplace
Psychiatric HarmFairly MinorBetween £1,170 and £4,450Short term panic attacks or issues with few or no ongoing symptoms

Don’t forget, you can call our team at any time and we will try to go through with you the typical payment bracket you may fall into, but we cannot offer guarantees as to how much you will get, we can only give a rough guide.

How to Start A Workplace Stress Compensation Claim

It may be simpler than you thought to begin a stress in the workplace claim with us. All you’ll be required to do initially is call, and our experts will speak to you about what you’ve experienced, asking relevant questions to ascertain the nature/validity of a claim. We will then provide you with an experienced professional solicitor that handles this type of case so that you can get started almost immediately on your claim. At any point during the call, you’ll be able to query any information you don’t understand and ask any pertinent questions. We will be glad to answer them.

No Win No Fee Stress at Work Claims

Taking legal action for stress at work can be stressful in itself, especially when most people think you will have to foot heavy legal bills for doing so. However, the fact is, you would not have to as most stress at work claims are done on a no win no fee arrangement. What this entails is that the solicitor will take as payment a percentage of your awarded compensation, and better yet, should you not receive a payout, there will be no legal fees for you to pay in this regard.

If you should have questions about whether the no win no fee stress at work claims arrangement will apply to you (in most cases, it does) then feel free to call our team who will explain the basis behind this type of claim.

Why Choose Accident Claims for Your Stress at Work Claim?

Choosing someone to help you with stress at work claims can be tricky. You want someone who is well-versed in the letter of the law when it comes to this kind of claim, as well as someone who understands, stress, the associated symptoms and can offer a sympathetic ear as well as actionable advice. Here at Accident Claims we aim to offer the full package. Not only do we have decades of experience in the field, but we also offer compassion, sympathy and good old fashioned common-sense approach to what can be a very emotive subject matter. We will not only talk you through, without using legal jargon every single step along the compensation journey, but we will also provide to you experienced solicitors who have handled cases just like yours before and can help offer the best chance of getting the maximum compensation payout possible for your specific circumstances. It is best you contact us rather than look at a stress at work compensation calculator online as it would not take into account your specific circumstances.

Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim

After having covered everything we think you need to know about making stress at work claims, we know we may not have covered absolutely every question you might have, so therefore our lines are open on 0800 073 8801 in case you can’t find the information you require in the sections above. If you don’t feel like speaking on the phone, you can always email us instead on or complete the form online here. There is even a live chat facility on the site for you to ask any questions you might have about a claim.

Useful Links

Mind – Mental Health Assistance

Mind is an organisation that is set up to assist with mental health issues. With a wealth of advice on different mental health conditions, along with links to find urgent assistance should you need it, you might find the site useful.

Employee help – Stress at work

The HSE have produced a huge amount of information about stress at work, including this page on spotting signs of stress and harassment at work what to do about it as an employee. You may find this page of interest should you need advice on how to talk to an employer about suffering from stress in the workplace.

NHS- Stress Busters

The NHS has produced guidance on how to cope with stress, and what to do as a short-term measure to feel better, as well as giving advice on long-term care. This may be useful if you are looking into ways to cope with your stress at work affecting home life, whether it is caused by work or by something entirely different.