We have experienced a phenomenal growth in the number of work related stress claims. These claims are often called bullying and harassment claims and because of their nature, bullying and harassment claims can be extremely difficult and they require specialist and expert legal assistance and advice.
When assessing whether or not a person should be advised to bring a claim in relation to work related stress or in relation to bullying or harassment, it is necessary to consider the following:
- The claimant’s contract of employment must be reviewed in detail along with any relevant employment handbooks or employment procedures undertaken by the employer.
- If the contract of employment does not cover bullying or harassment or other relevant disciplinary or investigative procedures, then the general law in the area must be assessed.
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- A client has to be advised concerning relevant health and safety legislation.
- Relevant medical reports and in particular psychological and occupational health reports may have to be obtained.
- In cases of this nature, extremely detailed instructions have to be taken and we always advise our clients to prepare a very detailed diary type history of their work with particular emphasis on the nature of the problems experienced.
- We have a panel of expert employment law barristers, who will assist in relation to the preparation of legal proceedings if necessary.
- We will contact witnesses as independent verification is often critical in cases of this nature. It can be difficult to obtain witness evidence from employees who are still working for the same employer but it is often possible to trace former employees who may be more willing to assist in a claim.
Once a claim has been fully assessed and prepared, the normal rules concerning the processing of personal injury claims apply and can be reviewed here.