Webinar Wednesday – Agile working and stress management

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Public and business awareness of mental health issues was already on an established upward trajectory ahead of the pandemic; the sudden transition to remote working in March 2020 both heightened some of the known risk factors for mental health risk and presented challenges for employers in monitoring, managing and risk assessment. 

Employees whose roles required physical attendance through successive lockdowns faced other challenges, at a time when the pandemic itself had an impact on mental resilience. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made it clear that stress in the workplace is high on their agenda as a focus area now and in the future. Current market developments may also create favourable conditions for claims activity in the mental health space over the coming months. 

Mental health regulatory investigations and civil claims are costs-heavy, time-intensive to investigate and demanding of management resource. Knowing the objectives behind the HSE’s approach to work-related stress and the circumstances in which it may investigate will assist in reducing the potential for the HSE to intervene. Understanding the drivers for claims activity and the importance early risk assessment, proactive management and anticipatory record-keeping will assist in mitigating the impact of investigations and improve the prospects for defensibility. 

This webinar will cover areas of concern raised by the new models of working and include some practical tips on work-related stress, how to tackle this and how to deal with any complaints. From a claims perspective, we look at the underlying common law principles which operate in stress and bullying claims, how the recent explosion in awareness of risk impacts their interpretation, and overlay the impact of the pandemic on working practices in this context. We also look at the statutory causes of action, and jurisdictional and insurance coverage issues which can arise. 

Chris Fletcher (chris.fletcher@blmlaw.com) and Sally Hancock (sally.hancock@blwlaw.com) are Partners at BLM.  

Chris is head of BLM’s Disease Practice Group and has extensive experience in all aspects of long and short tail occupational disease claims, in particular stress, bullying and harassment claims, asbestos-related disease claims and cancer claims.   

Sally leads the Manchester SHE Regulatory Team as well as heading up the national SHE practice group at BLM. Her work focuses on police and regulatory body investigations and prosecutions, as well as inquests. 

ALARM webinars are exclusively available for ALARM members. You will need to be logged in to the website in order to view them.  

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