Preventing work-related stress
Across Great Britain, work-related stress accounts for over half (57%) of all working days lost to ill health. In the last 12 months, over 600 000 workers reported suffering from stress, depression or anxiety, caused or made worse by work.
Stress affects us all at different times and in different ways. It can cause people to feel physically unwell, can cause mental health problems and can make existing problems worse.
It’s important to remember that it’s not an employer’s or a line manager’s job to diagnose or treat stress, whatever its cause. If an employee is having problems, it’s important that they get help as soon as possible.
Whether an employer is a small business or a large corporation, the law requires all employers to assess the risk of work-related stress and to put steps in place to tackle those risks.
Line managers can play an important role in helping to implement these measures and there are many tools, resources and guides available to help employers in deciding what these measures should be (see pages 20 and 21).
This toolkit is designed to help line managers hold initial conversations with employees as one of part of an employer’s journey towards preventing work-related stress.
By taking action employers can help create a more engaged, healthy workforce, boost productivity and save money.
Employers have reported improvements in productivity, retention of staff and a reduction in sickness absence when tackling work-related stress.