Law case

Mrs. Daw was employed as an integration analyst for a salary of  £33,000 per annum.  Mrs.Daw completed a service of 13 years until June 2001, when suffered with a breakdown as a result of chronic depression which had arised due to increasing workload in office.  Mrs.Daw filed proceedings against employer for recovery of damages for causing personal injury which took place in the course of working hours. Mrs.Daw also claimed that company had neglected in caring for employees welfare who are working for the company.

In the initial stages of trial, High Court Judge stated that Daw’s work and efforts to the organization were outstanding. It was also viewed that the priorities and demands of different managers of organization could not be understood by Mrs.Daw in a proper manner.  Mrs.Daw expressed about excessive workload through e-mails and even broke down in tears with one of the line managers.  In spite of this fact, no action plan was made to reduce the workload of Mrs.Daw.3. What law is involved? point out the name of the law is involved.

Employment law of UK ;  Health, safety and well-being guidelines, legal position to claim for stress in work places. The other laws are Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (Sl 1999/3242) and the Working Time Regulations 1998 (Sl 1998/1833)

4. Legal arguments

There is no specific section in law that states clearly about stress in work place whereas the cases differ depending on the situation and working ability of an employee.  However an employer must keep an update from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development  (CIPD) in order to prove and justify the employee rules of claiming for compensation.

5. Decision

The judge assessed the compensation to an extent of £134,000 which is in addition to the claim of personal injury caused at workplace and for loss of earnings. Intel pointed out that Mrs.Daw had free access to the sources for confidential counseling, medical assistance and other support which facilities were not availed by Mrs.Daw.

In reply to this, Court held that short-term counseling was not solution for reducing the workload of Mrs.Daw. Ensuring a visit to personal doctor was only a temporary relief  and would not provide a safe working environment.  Intel did not realize that overload of work could result in breakdown in health of Mrs.Daw.

6. What’s the rationale of the caseWorkplace always carries a proportionate stress in all circumstances for employees whereas this depends on the ability and capacity of an employee how efficiently employees handle office chores.  Courts have made it very clear that when an employee is experiencing stress in workload, it is important for an employer to see that either there is  a shift of workload temporarily or there is an arrangement for counseling service which improves the quality of work and also relieves stressed employee.

The Court also clarified that employer did not realize that overload of work would result in depression and this lack of knowledge about employees health, revealed that employer was negligent about employees. It is concluded that employers must pay attention to the matters when employees complain about work pressures and overload of work.  When employees requests are not considered, it would result in paying compensations and damages for personal injuries caused to employees in the course of execution of work.

ConclusionEmployers carry certain responsibilities as a part of corporate social responsibility to take care of employees in a moderate manner. Practice of good human resource principles within an organization reflect upon a professional environment that brings respect and reputation for the organizations.

References

Employers must act on workplace stress: Intel Corporation (UK) Limited v Daw – 7 February 2007

Accessed February 10, 2008

http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2007/02/20/39311/employers-must-act-on-workplace-stress-intel-corporation-uk-limited-v-daw-7-february.html

Health, safety and well-being Stress at work

Accessed February 14, 2008

http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/health/stress/stress.htm