More than 40 per cent of employers have reported an increase in stress cases
over the last 12 months, according to research by Occupational Health’s sister
title Personnel Today and IRS Employment Review.
The survey comes a year after the Court of Appeal issued guidelines that
were expected to make it harder for employees to bring successful compensation
claims for work-related stress.
These guidelines said that if employers offered staff a confidential counselling
service with access to treatment, they would be unlikely to found in breach of
their duty of care.
The survey of 220 HR professionals found two-thirds of employers have
confidential employee assistance programmes (EAPs) in place and half have completed
risk assessments for stress.
More than four in 10 of those with EAPs believed that having such a
programme would mean, if it came to the crunch, they would be able to show they
were meeting their legal obligations in combating stress at work.
But the fact so many organisations have reported an increase in cases may
cast doubt on that belief.