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How proactive should employers be in taking steps to avoid stress-related claims?

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Employers who do not manage stress and mental health issues risk low morale, high absence levels and high employee turnover. It is in an organisation’s interests to manage stress at work proactively, especially in an uncertain economic environment where employees feel under increased pressure.

The benefits to employers of tackling mental health issues and stress include improved staff commitment and performance, increased productivity, and more effective recruitment and retention. A further benefit is avoiding expensive and time-consuming litigation.

"Employers who do not manage stress and mental health issues risk low morale, high absence levels and high employee turnover"

Line managers should help employers identify, prevent, and manage mental health issues and stress. They should notice changes in staff behaviour that may indicate stress-related problems and recognise that they may also be themselves the cause of employees' stress.

All employers have a legal duty to take the initiative if an employee raises a mental health issue, rather than passively reacting they should be more proactive.

As soon as an employer knows an employee is in danger of suffering psychiatric injury from occupational stress, it is under a duty of care to take action to alleviate the stress. They could be liable to pay damages for any failure to do so.

Stress is something that can affect all of us - it's something that can contribute to a great many illnesses, and more working days are lost due to stress than for any other single reason.

Our Stress Awareness & Management training E-Learning course shows you how to take positive steps to prevent stress; it looks at how to stay in control when the pressure is mounting and highlights the tell-tale signs to help you recognise problems before they become serious.

Did you know that 12.5 million working days are lost each year in Britain due to stress in the workplace?



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