A former bank manager in Western Australia, driven to a nervous breakdown, has won a 12 month battle against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Slater and Gordon, workers compensation lawyer, Lillian Makinda said Mr Mark Reeve, who had managed the Mount Hawthorn branch, was forced to take his case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after the Commonwealth Bank reversed an earlier decision to accept this stress claim.
“Mr Reeve had the courage to take on the bank and he’s won,” she said.
Ms Makinda said Mr Reeve had spent more than 20 years working in the banking industry before he took on a senior position with the Commonwealth Bank.
“In his position as a branch manager with the bank, Mr Reeve found that he was placed under a lot of pressure to achieve unrealistic goals and all of this was amplified by a lack of consultation and support.”
“The pressure from the bank made him suffer extreme anxiety, depression and ultimately a nervous breakdown,” she said.
“It appears to be a terrible case of the bank seeking to maximise their profits over the mental health and well being of one of its employees.”
Ms Makinda said the Commonwealth Bank must now pay Mr Reeve his entitlements. The bank ceased Mr Reeve's payments in October 2009.
Mr Reeve said despite the win, “life would never be the same”.
“I had never imagined that I could have ended up in the situation that I did. I had led a healthy lifestyle, I had been a loyal employee and I was a hard worker,” Mr Reeve said.
“I am so disappointed and angry with the way I was treated and by the bank’s decision to make me fight for my claim, after initially accepting it.”
“Finally though, I can now look forward to some closure.”
Mr Reeve said he encouraged other workers who felt stressed at work seek assistance early