The 1997 Protection from Harassment Act 1997 provides an avenue for workers to make a claim for compensation for illness or injury as a result of harassment or workplace stress.
The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the TUC estimate that approximately 30 million work days were lost because of work-related injuries or stress last year with 13.4 million of those due to depression, anxiety and stress. The number of workers who suffer from work induced stress has increased twofold in the last ten years.
Even though stress is not always harmful, there are some causes of stress in the workplace which are on the increase that can cause physical or psychological damage.
Harassment and bullying are two causes of stress often caused by line managers victimizing workers. A survey conducted by the TUC earlier in the year stated that almost 5 million individuals are bullied at work and that 38 percent of all phone calls to the TUC’s help line were related to incidence of workplace bullying.
Any person who wishes to seek a compensation claim from their employer for injury or illness brought on by stress, harassment or bullying at work now has an alternative option to the normal route of using an Employment Tribunal. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 lets civil courts award damages for those victims of workplace harassment who now suffer from anxiety initiated by the harassment and for any financial loss that has resulted due to the harassment.
The Protection from Harassment Act also permits a victim to file an action just based on the simple fact that it is harassment, whether its cause was racial, sexual homophobic or just due to personal dislike.