Critically Evaluate, in Relation to the Common Law Duty of Care, the Liability of Employers for Psychiatric Illnesses Suffered by Employees and Arising as the Result of Employees Being Made to Work Under Stressful Conditions.

1497 Words Nov 25th, 2011 6 Pages
Critically evaluate, in relation to the common law duty of care, the liability of employers for psychiatric illnesses suffered by employees and arising as the result of employees being made to work under stressful conditions: Business corporations are instituted for the primary purpose of economic gain. Often, as the pressure to show impressive profits in each financial quarter increases, it is the workforce who are put under undue stress. Ranging from unreasonably high productivity standards, to sub-standard and hazardous work environments, workers face several potential risks to their mental and physical health. The paradox lies in the fact that an unhealthy and burnt-out workforce is less productive than that which is relaxed and …show more content…
Employers have been made to face the reality that workplace stress is a health and safety issue for which they are potentially liable. Employers should take a proactive approach to managing workplace stress in order to avoid costly settlements.ā€ (Management Services, 1997, p.7)

In modern Britain, conventional blue collar jobs have reduced due to automation and computerization of business processes. The simultaneous shift toward a knowledge-based economy has made the workforce a predominantly white-collar group. The private sector tends to breach 'duty of care' requirements more than public sector organizations. But today, workers from all sectors of employment continue to face stress in the workplace, albeit in their own ways. A most disappointing case of failure in 'duty of care' within the public sector is with respect to British soldiers participating in the War on Terror. Numerous military personnel of various ranks have perished in the war and thousands more are suffering severe mental stress. The protracted and chaotic military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a point of debate the last few years, especially with increased costs for the exchequer and no victory in sight. This situation instigated Tory leader Cameron White to criticize former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government

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