The woman started working as an administrator for her employer in 2002. Within four years her role had increased and she had a number of responsibilities that were vital to the day to day running of the business.

She had a pre-existing condition which made her vulnerable to depressive episodes that could be brought on by stress. In 2008, her employers put her in charge of their redundancy programme but didn’t give her sufficient support and

She became overwhelmed by the role. The sensitive nature of the work put a huge strain on her emotionally and she would regularly break down in tears at work.

An independent management consultant advised the employers that the woman was carrying out seven roles for the company and needed help.

The company later failed a quality assessment and the assessor a
lso told the employers that the woman needed support to fulfil her roles efficiently, and for the company to comply with the required standards.

Eventually the stress became too much and the woman developed a major depressive disorder. She was signed off work with stress related illness and depression. She felt worthless and had very little energy.

Her mood became permanentlylow and she no longer took any substantial interest in activities that she had previously enjoyed.

She had to train for a new career as she couldn’t face working as an administrator again.

The woman sought compensation, saying that her employers had ignored her requests for support, even though it was obvious that she was struggling and that a psychiatric injury was possible.

She said that her major depressive disorder was a direct result of a breach of duty of care by her employers.

The company admitted liability and agreed to an out of court settlement of £76,843.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.

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