Chatteris: 01354 692607 | Dereham: 01362 692182 | Ely: 01353 662203 | Heacham: 01485 571366

King's Lynn: 01553 660033 | Swaffham: 01760 721992 | Watton: 01953 880800

What's New? > Employers must minimise stress for workers

Employers must minimise stress for workers

Published: 11th November 2010

This month's National Stress Awareness Day has focussed attention on the problem of stress in the workplace and is a reminder to employers that stress is a health and safety issue that they ignore at their peril.

The Health and Safety Executive believes that last year in Britain over 11 million working days were lost as a result of stress related illness and estimates that 415,000 individuals experienced work related stress at levels that made them ill. This makes stress the second most common work-related illness and almost double that of back pain.

Many are forecasting that stress at work is likely to rise in the recession, as businesses try to reduce costs; employees who leave may not be replaced, and in the worst case scenario, businesses may have to make redundancies. As a result, the burden on employees may increase, while worries about job security might make employees reluctant to tell employers that they feel overworked or suffering from stress.

"Employers cannot ignore the dangers of stress; they can be sued or even prosecuted for failing to ensure safety standards at work and this applies to the mental health and safety of employees just as it applies to their physical safety," explained employment law specialist Anissa Hallworth of Ward Gethin Solicitors. 

"Recent proposals by the Government to press people to come off incapacity benefits and sickness-related benefits, and back into employment, also means that employers may be engaging with people who are not used to employment, which is likely to further increase employer responsibility."

Against this backdrop, the Health and Safety Executive are encouraging employers to adopt effective strategies to combat stress, saying it can pay dividends in increased productivity.  Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council has reduced the number of days lost to stress-related absence by 13194 days within a year of introducing such a strategy.

Employers must be aware of the risks to them if they fail to protect their employees and here at ward Gethin we offer employers a full review of their current procedures or we will help you put in place procedures to help prevent claims against you.

For further advice please contact Anissa Hallworth on 01553 660033

This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek our specific advice.