Many employers do not bother to draft in cover for long-term sick leave, exposing themselves to claims for stress from other staff.
A new study has found that while half of companies bring in a temporary replacement for someone who is off sick for several months, one-third delegate the work to other colleagues instead. The remaining come to other arrangements such as sub-contracting, according to the Norwich Union Healthcare study.
"Excessive workload is one of the main causes of stress," said Graham Johnson, professional development manager at MTL Medical Services, an occupational health specialist. "In the good old days there would usually be some slack, so if someone was missing you could cope. But that situation does not exist any more."
The six-figure compensation claims for stress have featured complaints by the litigants of excess workloads and lack of supervision.