In this brief blog, we will consider what duty of care should an employer show if you are absent with stress.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees, which mean they have to take steps to ensure the safety of each staff member. The steps should ensure their health, safety and wellbeing. Demonstrating concern for the physical and mental health of your employees is both a legal concern and morale for the integrity of a business. To ensure they have the best employees working there to help the business achieve its objective.  Requirements under an employer’s duty of care are wide-ranging and may manifest themselves in many different ways, such as:

  • Clearly defining jobs and undertaking risk assessments
  • Ensuring a safe work environment
  • Providing adequate training and feedback on performance
  • Ensuring that staff do not work excessive hours
  • Providing areas for rest and relaxation
  • Protecting staff from bullying or harassment, either from colleagues or third parties
  • Protecting staff from discrimination
  • Providing communication channels for employees to raise concerns
  • Consulting employees on issues which concern them.

An employer can be deemed to have breached their duty of care by failing to do everything that was reasonable in the circumstances to keep the employee safe from harm.

If you are absent with stress from work, an employer has a duty of care to be proactive in considering what factors could cause ill-health or make existing health conditions even worse. They should be taking reasonable steps to identify the risks and identify possible sources of stress that could foreseeably cause you health issues.

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