Work-life balance

This year, it has been reported that the British economy is losing £2.4 billion a year due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety, which to some extent, could be associated with the number of hours employees spend in the office. According to a press release in 2015 from the Trades Union Congress, the number of employees working more than 48 hours per week has reached 3,417,000 which is up by 453,000 since 2010.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees which includes ensuring that their staff do not work excessive hours. According to the Labour Force Survey the total number of working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2014/15 was 9.9 million days.  In McAdie v Royal Bank of Scotland [2007] the EAT specified that employees who have been injured as a result of a breach of duty by their employers are entitled to compensation. The EAT also explained that the employer was responsible, in some cases, for the employee’s incapacity and that they should “go the extra mile in finding alternative employment for such an employee, or to put up with a longer period of sickness absence than would otherwise be reasonable”.

Dominic Bonham