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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50198
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My daughter is employed as a carer, attending services user's own homes, getting them

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My daughter is employed as a carer, attending services user's own homes, getting them up out of bed and dressed in the morning, doing lunches, teas, back to beds, that type of thing. She is employed on a zero hours contract. Payment is made for the time she is in the client's house, not journey time between and no fuel allowance is given. Typically she can be asked to work over 40 hours per week. Lately she has suffered stress with the workload and is now on medication for this and her GP has written to her employer to state she is not in a position to work more than 30-35 hours per week maximum. This has been ignored by her employers who have called her to a disciplinary and told her she must work extra hours as given to her. Can her employer force her to do so and cause additional stress?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.firstly can you tell me how long she has been employed there and her age please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben. Catherine is 23 years old and has been employed with them for less than 6 months.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Employed 4 months to be precise.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Catherine's mum passed away 2 years ago and coming up to Christmas is a difficult time for her, just to add to her worries.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Catherine has just confirmed, employed 5 months.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience delays.
Many thanks for your patience. Whilst stress in the workplace is becoming an ever-increasing problem, no specific legislation deals with it. The rights of employees in these circumstances are scattered across various legislation and common law examples. A good starting point is to look at The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and related statutory instruments, which impose a general duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. This includes a duty to undertake risk assessments and manage activities to reduce the incidence of stress at work. In addition, under common law an employer owes a duty of care towards its employees, the breach of which can amount to negligence. As no standalone claim exists for being exposed to stress, the affected employee has the following options open to them if they were going to challenge their employer over this: 1. Grievance - this is a formal internal complaint, following which the employer is obliged to investigate the issues and deal with them in an appropriate manner. It should always be the first step in trying to bring the problem to the employer's attention and to try and reach a resolution. 2. Constructive dismissal - this occurs where the employee resigns because they feel they were left with no other option in the circumstances. However, for such a claim to be made, the employee must have at least 2 years’ continuous service so this is not an option here. 3. Personal Injury - this is a claim for negligence against the employer. Further considerations include:· Some recognised illness must have been suffered. This could include clinical depression, specific trauma stress, a physical injury (e.g. stroke), etc.· The illness must have been caused directly by the employer's negligence, such as failing to appropriately deal with managing stress in the workplace· The illness must have been reasonably foreseeable - for example if the employee experienced one breakdown, that would have indicated to the employer that there is a problem and that further issues could arise if things were not dealt with appropriately. · The time limit to claim is 3 years from the time the injury was suffered. In the first instance, I would advise going down the grievance route first and only consider pursuing legal action as a last resort if it is evident that the matter cannot be resolved in any other way. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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