Employers’ should understand the legal issues relating to workplace stress.

Stress is a Health & Saftey Issue. Health & Saftey Executive are increasingly highlighting employers’ duties of care regarding workplace stress.

This is due to the huge increase in cases of stress litigation in the UK over the past number of years. Levels of concern have been expressed by such bodies as the CBI, Department of Health, Trade Unions, plus a growing number of employers about the high cost of stress, not only finnacial and human terms but also on the national economy. In 2005 HSE produced ‘The Management Standards’ approach to tackling workplace stress covering issues such as ‘Identifying stress’, ‘Ensuring that employees’ concerns are responded to’, and ‘How to manage change’. This document clearly states that: ‘The law requires employers to tackle stress’

In addition to employers’ general duties of care, there are a number of specific statutory duties to be found in the myriad of Health & Safety Regulations, many of which impose absolute duties and some of which attract both criminal and civil liability. Employers should understand the legal issues relating to workplace stress; learn how to undertake risk-assement, and develop an action plan to prevent stress.


— Loss Prevention Council

image of a female office worker sat at a desk.