Intel loses appeal against negligence claim over work-related stress

Computer-chip maker Intel has lost an appeal against a ruling that found the company had been negligent in allowing an employee to suffer debilitating work-related stress.

HR professional Tracy Daw was awarded £114,764 in May 2006. She is now also entitled to the interest that has accrued on that amount over the past eight months.

Daw had worked at Intel’s UK head office in Swindon since 1988. In 2000, she was put in charge of integrating the payroll and benefits of new employees acquired by the firm through mergers and takeovers.

By the following year, Daw claimed the workload was so high she was doing the job of nearly two people. She had a nervous breakdown in June 2001 and brought a claim for negligence against Intel, saying she had received no help from the company

Daw won the case despite Intel offering free counselling to staff who felt stressed.

At the original tribunal, Mr Justice Goldring held that “the counselling service could be of little or no help to Miss Daw. It could not reduce her workload”.

Tim Dixon, managing partner at law firm Lemon & Co, which represented Daw at the appeal, said: “It has become more difficult for people to sue employers for work-related stress in recent years, so this is landmark victory.”

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