Stress at work lawyer, Elizabeth Duncan, whose own father is a retired prison officer, looks at a worrying trend of stress related illness among prison officers.
The BBC is reporting that 1,000 prison officers across England and Wales have had to take time off work in the past year due to stress. A further 800 officers are suffering from depression and anxiety.
The BBC obtained the figures under Freedom of Information laws. A significantly higher number of prison officers are now suffering stress compared to previous years.
I know myself just how stressful the job can be, but the fact that the number of officers reporting stress related issues has increased so much suggests we are now facing a major problem.
I fully expect the number of prison officer stress case claims to rise in line with these figures. Where it can be shown that work related stress could have been avoided if an employer had implemented reasonable measures to minimise the impact of stress on its staff, then the employee is likely to have a valid claim for compensation.
We receive a huge number of stress at work enquiries every year and we very often find that the employee’s illness was completely avoidable. In these cases we are usually able to deal with the legal claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.
That’s not to say that all work related stress can be blamed on an employer. Sometimes a degree of stress is an intrinsic part of the job in question and employers cannot be held legally liable if an illness develops which they were completely unaware of. However, where an employer does know that a member of staff is struggling, but fails to take reasonable steps to prevent the problem developing and as a result the employee suffers a full blown stress illness as a result, then legitimate questions can be asked.
If you wish to know if you are able to bring a prison officer stress claim then simply complete our stress at work questionnaire which can be found here and return it to me. I will review your case free of charge and give you my assessment. I will also be able to let you know if we can deal with your prison officer stress claim on No Win, No Fee basis.