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Law for Business

Knowhow - guidance - precedents

05 NOV 2013

Stress in the Workplace - Would you spot the signs?

Pam Loch

Managing Partner


The UK's 15th National Stress Awareness Day is on 6 November 2013. The event was set up by the International Stress Management Association to help raise awareness of those suffering from stress and to put support mechanisms in place to help them overcome it.

For employers it is important that stress within the workplace is recognised and managed properly in order to improve the performance of staff and ultimately, improve the performance of the business.

So what are the signs to look out for? Stress at work can manifest itself in so many different ways, it is not always obvious.

As a starting point, it is important to recognise that stress can affect anybody at any level within an organisation. Research by the Health and Safety Executive shows that stress is not confined to any particular sector or job role, despite misconceptions that some industries and roles are considered to be more ‘at risk' than others. Some common signs are:-

  • Negative feelings towards their work or disappointment in themselves
  • Loneliness and withdrawal from the team
  • Loss of motivation or concentration
  • Confusion and indecision
  • Changes in attendance, either through recurrent sickness absence or starting work later and finishing early
  • Increased complaints and grievances being raised

Training managers effectively in how to recognise the signs and manage staff who may be suffering from stress is key to handling the issue. Some employers have introduced Employee Assistance Programmes which offer an independent and confidential counselling helpline service to their staff.

Whichever methods an employer decides to use to combat the signs of stress, it is an issue which affects an increasing number of people and therefore employers should be taking proactive steps to reduce the impact on their staff and ultimately their businesses.

Pam Loch and Natasha Smith, Managing Partner and Associate Employment Lawyer of niche employment law practice, Loch Associates Employment Lawyers.  

For more information on Loch Associates Employment Lawyers please go to www.lochassociates.co.uk and for HR Advise Me go to www.hradvise.me.

This information is intended as a guide only.  Whilst the information contained in this document is believed to be correct, it is not a substitute for appropriate legal advice.  Loch Associates can take no responsibility for actions taken based on the information contained in this document.

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