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THE LAW OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK - Essay Example

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Law of Health and Safety at Work Introduction In order to advice Mathews in respect of his rights against the corporate firm for the psychiatric injuries sustained by him, the issues to be considered are enumerated in the sequel. First, whether commercial law firm is in breach of any rights awarded to employees by the employment law…
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THE LAW OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK
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Download file to see previous pages According to the provisions of the common law, employers are required to safeguard the physical and psychological health of their employees. They are also required to provide a safe system of work, safe means of access, plant and equipment, and fellow employees. Furthermore, employees have to be protected from unnecessary risk of injury (Mcilroy, 2000). This duty of care is an implied obligation in a contract of employment. It had been the extant practice to permit employees to claim compensation from their employers if they were injured at the workplace, due to the negligence of the latter. The courts have commenced to grant compensation for psychological injuries caused by employers. In order to succeed in a claim for psychiatric injury, the applicant has to establish genuine psychological damage; presence of a causal link between the psychiatric injury and his employment; and that the psychiatric injury had been foreseeable by the employer (Mcilroy, 2000). Moreover, the applicant must submit expert opinion to establish psychiatric illness, in order to claim compensation. Stress in employment, gradually erodes the health of employees, and reduces self-esteem, confidence, and other abilities. Such employees are less likely to claim compensation from their employers (Mcilroy, 2000). ...
The Employment Protection Act 1975 (Employment Protection Act (c. 71), 1975) provides rights related to time off, and these have been included in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (Employment Rights Act (c. 18), 1996). A few of these rights provide employees with paid time off and the other rights allow employees to avail themselves of unpaid time off. Specifically, section 50(4) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, requires the duration of time off and pertinent factors to be of a reasonable nature. This was clearly discernible in the Employment Appellate Tribunal’s decision in Borders Regional Council v Maule, wherein the former stressed that there was to be a balance between the needs of the employer and the rights of the employee (Borders Regional Council v Maule, 1993). Health and Safety at Work It is to be examined, whether the corporate law firm, is in breach of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974. In instances involving work related stress an employee can initiate legal action against his employer in the County Court or High Court, or apply to an Employment Tribunal. The first ruling regarding negligence arose in Walker v Northumberland County Council. In this case, it was held that it was reasonable to foresee risk of psychiatric injury, if the concerned employee had already undergone a nervous breakdown. All the same, this was not to be construed to imply that an employer could continue to subject an employee to excessive stress, until the latter suffered a stress related injury. In Garratt v London Borough of Camden, the Court of Appeal opined that a significant proportion of the population underwent nervous breakdowns and depression, and that quite a few of these individuals were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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