Employers are being advised that it is in their interests to prevent and manage stress at work in a tough economic environment where many employees are under pressure to do more with less, in a new CIPD guide highlighting the potential legal risks they face if they ignore their responsibilities in this area.
The guide, Work-related stress: what the law says produced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), with support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Acas and the cross-government Health, Work and Wellbeing programme, sets out an employers’ legal obligations in identifying and preventing stress at work.
The guide also highlights recent cases where employers have faced significant compensation payouts for failing to identify and prevent stress adequately. In addition, it provides advice on how employers can tackle stress through good people management. The CIPD’s quarterly July 2010 Employee Outlook survey showed almost half (49%) of staff have noticed an increase in stress at work as a result of the economic downturn.
Supporting the guide, Dame Carol Black, national director for health and work, commented: “It is in employers’ interests to manage stress at work proactively and not just assume all staff are coping, particularly in a tough economic environment where many employees are under pressure to do more with less.”