My Boss Is Causing Me Anxiety, What Can I Do?

Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Money Savings Advice My boss is causing my anxiety

The vast majority of people find their jobs challenging, and anxiety can be a problem from time to time. However, if you are constantly anxious as a consequence of your boss or other colleagues, then this may impact your long-term ability to work.

There are procedural routes you can take which your employer is legally obliged to consider, and there is also income protection insurance in the event that you are forced to take time off work.

If your boss treats you badly, approach their boss or the HR department. If you just feel anxious due to pressure, it's best to go directly to the boss in question and talk about your feelings. If they don't listen respectfully, seek HR support.

Anxiety in the workplace is a problem for many people and can often lead to financial distress and concerns about their ability to work. If your boss is causing you anxiety in the workplace, then you need to address it through official channels.

It is common sense to challenge these issues head-on because the longer they are left, the worse they will become.

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Should I Report My Boss for the Way They Treat Me?

The first thing to remember is that your employer has a legal obligation to look after the health and well-being of all employees. This includes alleged bullying in the workplace. So, your employer should have a confidential system in place by which you can report inappropriate behaviour.

Your employee would then be legally obliged to address the issues raised and enter into mediation between both parties. This should not have an impact on your long-term employment as it would be illegal to make you redundant for effectively whistleblowing.

What Are the Main Signs of Anxiety?

Anxiety can present itself in many different forms for different people although some of the more common signs of anxiety include:-

  • Constant feeling of nervousness and tension
  • Constant feeling of panic
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Constant worry
  • Fear of socialising

There are many different symptoms of anxiety, and while many of us may experience at least one of the above symptoms in isolation when you experience two or more over a prolonged period of time, this can indicate growing anxiety.

Should I Seek Medical Attention for My Anxiety?

If at any time you feel that your anxiety is beginning to control your life, then you should seek medical attention. Such scenarios include:-

  • Constant worry is impacting not only your working life but also your private life
  • The level of fear, worry and anxiety is such that it can become overwhelming
  • If you begin to feel depressed and fear other mental health issues are emerging
  • Your anxiety is pushing you towards substance/alcohol abuse
  • You have thoughts of self-harm

These are not very comfortable situations to consider, but if you can relate to any of these, then you may be suffering anxiety and require assistance.

What Help Can I Get for Anxiety?

Your GP will be able to advise you of relaxation techniques prescribe short term medication and even sign you off work for a period of time. The problem with anxiety is that it can lead to an array of other mental/physical health issues.

The sooner it is nipped in the bud, the better and the sooner you can regain control of your life and focus on the future.

Should I Consider Income Protection Insurance?

There is no one size fits all answer to this question as it will depend upon your situation and your finances. That said it could prove extremely useful in the event that you have a prolonged period of time off work due to illness/injury.

It may also be possible to add redundancy cover to an income protection policy which would obviously assist in what would be difficult times. If you are considering income protection insurance, then it is important to take professional advice.

What Would Trigger an Income Protection Insurance Payment?

The exact process for triggering an income protection insurance payment will depend upon the terms of each individual policy. Traditional policies will pay out to those who are unable to work as a consequence of illness/injury, but you can also add other elements such as a redundancy protection policy.

The criteria used to trigger an income protection payment are generally split into three groups:-

Inability to Carry Out Daily Activities

Some policies will pay out if you are unable to carry out common daily activities such as showering, brushing your teeth, walking, etc. This may sound like a relatively low bar test but not all mental/physical injuries will stop you from carrying out such activities.

Unable to Carry Out Any Other Form of Employment

If your insurance company believes that you could carry out other activities on behalf of your employer, or with an alternative employer, they may refuse to payout. For example, if the stress of managing a team of individuals was too much, then maybe you could become one of the team.

Own Occupation

The own occupation test will pay out automatically when you are unable to work due to sickness/injury and would not take into account daily activities or alternative forms of employment. This type of policy is preferred by many, but it would attract premiums towards the higher end of the scale.

How Long Before I Receive an Income Protection Payment?

In the event that you were successful with a claim against your income protection policy, you could wait anywhere from four weeks up to 2 years which is called the deferral period. The longer this deferral period, the cheaper your premiums as this would reduce the liability of your insurance company.

Why Would Anybody Go for an Extended Deferral Period?

While it may sound a little bizarre to think that some people take out a policy that doesn’t pay out until two years after the event, there can be numerous reasons. For example, it may be that your employer already has in place an enhanced sick pay scheme that would cover you for the two-year period.

You may have other policies which would take care of financial liabilities such as mortgage payments, credit cards, loans, etc. There may also be occasions where you simply have sufficient savings to see you through a prolonged period of unemployment.

With an extended deferral period, this will act as a long-term backup in the event that your situation does not improve.

What Is the Best Type of Income Protection for Me?

Again, there is no one size fits all answer for this question. If you have any queries, you should take professional financial advice and look at income protection in tandem with your overall finances. For example, there would be little point in taking out additional income protection if a similar long term scheme was already operated by your employer.

How Do I Find My Employer’s Sick Pay Plan?

Legally your employer will have included their sick pay plan in your contract of employment. In the event that the plan changes from time to time, you should be advised in writing. While often overlooked, if you are forced to take time off work, then the terms of your employer’s sick pay plan will become very important.

Can I Adjust My Income Protection Insurance Policy in the Future?

What you will find is that your income protection insurance requirements could be very different through your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. As a consequence, you may need to adjust your income protection insurance policy, so it is more in line with your employment contract, including sick pay.

As this is an extremely competitive market, you will likely find that your insurance broker/insurance company will be flexible and accommodating with any of your changes.

In the event that you are unable to tweak/change your income protection policy, then you may need to seek additional guidance and a new insurance policy. In reality, it is difficult to see why your existing insurance company would not be accommodating.

Is Anxiety Treated as a Medical Condition?

Unfortunately, while the UK legal system now sees physical and mental injuries in the same light, the message has not yet made it into the workplace. As a consequence, we can only imagine how many anxiety sufferers are attending work when, in reality, they should have to time off.

At this point, it is worth reminding ourselves that all employers have a legal obligation with regards to the physical and mental well-being of their employees. Therefore, if your boss is placing pressure on you and causing you anxiety, this could be seen as negligent.

Why Does One Person Cause Me Anxiety?

Whether a fellow employee, manager, owner or anybody else working for your employer, the damage caused by bullying in the workplace and constant pressure is horrendous. Many people find that their anxiety is focused on one person when, in reality, it is more the overall scenario.

If you met that individual out of the office, it would be very different. When you meet them in the office, they can be intimidating and cause your level of anxiety to increase, sometimes beyond control.

Should I Face My Boss With Concerns About Anxiety?

If you are looking to make an official complaint about pressure in the workplace, bring on anxiety, this should be done through the correct channels. Many large to medium-sized businesses will have a human resources department (at worst an office manager) which will look after these types of issues.

Once the process has begun, all parties will be informed, and it is likely that initially there will be a formal meeting to discuss the issues.

Can I Take Somebody Into the Grievance Meeting?

It is advisable to take somebody with you when you attend a grievance meeting because sometimes “things are forgotten” without witnesses. In a perfect world, all parties would sit down across a table, discuss the issues, shake hands and work on improving their relationship.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and things can become difficult. While it is very useful to have somebody there was a witness; it is also very useful to have someone there as support for you. If you are already feeling anxious, this kind of formal meeting could tip you over the edge without support.

So, take a friend or colleague, remain calm, collected and try to hold in your anger. Once the process has begun, it is the company’s obligation to find a solution. There should be no repercussions for complaining about pressure from your boss, although it may result in a parting of the ways in the workplace.


Anxiety in the workplace can lead to friction and confrontation between management and employees. If you feel that your boss is treating you inappropriately, thereby prompting bouts of anxiety, you are well within your rights to complain.

In many cases, anxiety in the workplace can lead to concerns regarding your long-term role with the company and your finances. As a consequence, there is growing interest in income protection insurance which offers a degree of protection in the event that you are unable to work as a consequence of illness/injury or even redundancy.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With an Income Protection Insurance?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Income Protection Insurance brokers. They have already helped thousands of people get the best Income Protection Insurance cover and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these brokers who can provide you with a ‘whole market quote’ then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

Money Savings Advice Author Mark Benson

Mark Benson

Mark has been writing professionally for over ten years for the financial sector. Having started in the financial world as a stock-broker in central London and then moving to equities trader Mark is one of our senior financial writers who has a vast knowledge of multiple financial sectors.

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