A worker at a university who has had to take time off work for stress after suffering a vast increase in his workload has won his claim for compensation.
Mark Bannister had been working 65 hour weeks under extreme pressure before he was taken ill. The workload for his job as a programme manager at Staffordshire University – which involved organising international students’ courses – had increased dramatically after incidences beyond his control.
The increase happened after one of his colleagues committed suicide and other members of staff left their positions. These workers were not replaced by the University and that left Mr Bannister’s team doing the work of 6 people between just 4 members of staff. Despite complaining about the problem and the 65 hour weeks he was working, the University did nothing to help relieve the pressure.
Mr Bannister has a history of anxiety and depression and was forced to sign himself off sick with stress in September 2007. He has been unable to return to work since. His legal team successfully argued that the University was negligent in allowing its workforce to be so overworked and come under so much pressure. Mr Bannister therefore won his claim for compensation and was awarded with a payout of £110,000.