Stress | What can an employer do?

Stress | What can an employer do?

Did you know that 12.5 million working days were lost as a result of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17?

This translates to an average of 23.8 days lost for each individual affected.

In fact, in 2016/17 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 40% of all work-related ill health!

Working days lost as a result of work-related stress, depression or anxiety

See the big picture

Work-related stress can have a number of serious knock-on effects – all of which you want to avoid at all costs.

Taking effective and practical measures to tackle stress in the workplace can help reduce the cost of absences. If an employee is off work for an extended period of time, you may need to hire someone else or pay current employees to do overtime in order to cover their work duties.

Stress can also negatively impact:

  • staff morale
  • engagement
  • job satisfaction
  • productivity.

You also don’t want it to be a contributing factor to a high employee turnover rate or deter prospective employees from joining your organisation.

Take effective measures to combat stress

Stress at work can occur for numerous reasons. It may be an excessive workload, unreasonable expectations, overly-demanding work colleagues or changes in the workplace, but the good news is that there are things employers can do to manage and minimise the risks of work-related stress.

Think about:

  • identifying all workplace stressors and conducting risk assessments to eliminate or control the risks from stress. These risk assessments should be reviewed regularly.
  • putting measures into operation to address the risks raised in the risk assessments. Steps to help combat work-related stress could include reviewing the employee’s workload, offering flexible working arrangements, ensuring the employee has role clarity, fostering a workplace culture whether they can talk to you if have issues or concerns, having health and well-being strategies in place, ensuring you have appropriate bullying and harassment policies,
  • consulting with Safety Representatives to discuss the prevention of work-related stress.
  • providing access to confidential counselling, health services, help lines or other forms of support to employees affected by stress, whether it is caused by work or external factors.
  • providing relevant training to all senior managers and line managers and giving them all the resources they need to implement an effective stress strategy.
"If work-related stress is an area causing your organisation concern, get in touch. Our experienced and qualified experts can help provide you with the appropriate guidance and support."
James Tamm
Head of Employment Law

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