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This equipment was donated by Thompsons solicitors. Stress: Still a Workplace Killer Wednesday 14 th January 2009. Stress, Injury and Death at Work: A Legal Framework. Linda Millband Thompsons Solicitors. Institute of Employment Rights Stress Wednesday 14 th January 2009.

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This equipment was donated by Thompsons solicitors

Stress: Still a Workplace Killer

Wednesday 14th January 2009

stress injury and death at work a legal framework

Stress, Injury and Death at Work: A Legal Framework

Linda Millband

Thompsons Solicitors

Institute of Employment Rights Stress Wednesday 14th January 2009

a brief analysis of the law
A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE LAW
  • WALKER v NORTHUMBERLAND CC 1995
  • The first successful stress case
  • Mr Walker was only successful in proving foreseeability for the second breakdown
  • A number of successful cases followed

Institute of Employment Rights Stress Wednesday 14th January 2009

hatton v sutherland ca 2002
HATTON v SUTHERLAND CA 2002
  • Four cases heard together as a group by the Court of Appeal
  • Lady Hale’s 16 practical propositions set the bench mark for future cases
  • Issue of foreseeability dealt with in the threshold test
  • “is it foreseeable that this claimant carrying out this type of work would suffer a psychiatric illness attributable to stress at work caused by the Defendant’s breach of duty”

Institute of Employment Rights Stress Wednesday 14th January 2009

barber v somerset county council hol 2004
BARBER v SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCILHOL 2004
  • One of the unsuccessful cases within the Hatton Group
  • Mr Barber appealed on the limited point of breach of duty of care
  • The 16 practical propositions were upheld
  • “The overall test is still the conduct of the reasonable and prudent employer taking positive thought for the safety of their workers in the light of what they ought to know”

Institute of Employment Rights Stress Wednesday 14th January 2009

case law since hatton
CASE LAW SINCE HATTON
  • DAW v INTEL CORPORATION (CA 2007)
  • The fact the company had a counselling service was insufficient to discharge the employer’s duty to provide a safe working environment.
  • Behaviour such as crying was enough to alert the employer to the fact that an investigation should have taken place
  • DICKINS v 02 CA October 2008

The claimant’s own report of impending psychiatric illness was enough to trigger foreseeability

Institute of Employment Rights Stress Wednesday 14th January 2009

the protection from harassment act 1997
THE PROTECTION FROM HARASSMENT ACT 1997
  • Majrowski v Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust HOL 2006
  • The Protection From Harassment Act 1997 applies as much between employer and employee.
  • An employee can be vicariously liable for harassment which occurs in the workplace

Institute of Employment Rights Stress Wednesday 14th January 2009

conn v sunderland city council ca 2007
CONN v SUNDERLAND CITY COUNCIL CA 2007
  • A supervisor told the claimant and two colleagues that he would” knock out the cabin windows” if they did not do as he told them
  • The Court of Appeal stated that this act did not come close to crossing the border between the “unreasonable” and conduct which is “oppressive and unacceptable”
  • There has to be a course of conduct where the harassment is of sufficient severity to formulate a criminal act
  • Watch this space re Carlos Allen v Southwark London Borough Council CA Nov08

Institute of Employment Rights Stress Wednesday 14th January 2009