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.

1469 Words Nov 22nd, 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…
In addition to dealing with hostility from enemy combatants, British troops are prone to getting bullied by those higher up the chain of command. According to the “Commons Defence Committee's investigation into the functioning of Armed Forces, there is 'insufficient awareness' of duty of care policy throughout the entire chain of command. For far too long, duty of care has not received the attention it deserves. The Army, in particular, now needs to grasp the nettle of their duty of care.” (Cordon & Gammell, 2005, p.16 )

The laws applicable in United Kingdom are generally noted to be comprehensive; and the region is known to be very safe in terms of worker safety and worker care. Yet, there have always been systemic failures to prevent worker stress. Some leeway can be given to account for the fact that corporate laws have not been redesigned to fit the knowledge-based economy of the UK. Many 'duty of care' laws existing today were first drafted during the industrial age, when manufacturing of goods was the mainstay of the economy. But as the Information Technology revolution happened toward the end of the last century, and as sedentary, desk-based jobs became the norm, unexpected lifestyle changes were imposed on the workforce. Business leaders have not apparently foreseen the health consequences of such lifestyles; or even if they had, did not take the issue seriously. (Murphy & Cooper, 2000)

What public awareness exists

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