No Worries? Employers' Duty of Care for Negligently Inflicted Stress
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
Australian Journal of Labour Law, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 344-356, 2005
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/02
Work-related psychiatric harm is an increasing problem in the contemporary workplace. It poses significant legal and regulatory challenges, potentially involving the intersection of employment law, negligence and contract as well as systems of occupational health and safety and workers' compensation. This article examines the recent High Court decision in Koehler v Cerebos (Aust.) Ltd (2005) 214 ALR 355; (2005) 79 ALJR 845, which considered whether an employer owes a duty of care not to inflict psychiatric harm on an employee in circumstances where the harm results from the employee's undertaking of a workload in excess of industry standards. It analyses the reasoning of the High Court and places the case in the context of earlier Australian authorities not directly considered by the High Court and contrasts it to the emerging position in the United Kingdom.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: Torts, Negligence, Psychiatric harm, Duty of care, Workplace stress, Employer-employee relations, Australia, Comparison with United Kingdom, Interaction of tort and contract
JEL Classification: K13, K10, K32, K31
Date posted: January 15, 2007
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