Majority of employers failing to tackle stress at work

Nearly
eight in 10 employers are failing to manage the main factors known to cause
stress at work – costing the UK billions of pounds in lost productivity, new
research claims.

A
survey of 93 health and safety professionals from consultancy Croner, reveals
that 79 per cent of respondents have not taken any action to implement the
Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) stress management standards introduced last
year.

Research
carried out by Personnel Today and the HSE found 1.5 million working days are
lost due to stress each year, costing employers £1.24bn.

The
HSE has identified six contributors to workplace stress:


Demands of the job


Control over how to work


Support from colleagues and management


Working relationships


Clarity of role; and


Organisational change.

Under
the HSE standards, which will be enforced later this year, employers will have
to meet a percentage target of staff who must think each area is being
improved, otherwise the organisation will fail an assessment.

However,
the survey reveals that only 7 per cent of organisations have taken any steps
to implement the standards, with 14 per cent saying they are currently
considering it.

Katherine
Hunter, health and safety consultant at Croner, said: "Stress is costing
UK business billions each year in lost working days, not to mention the
potential costs of compensation claims.

“It
is in everybody’s best interest to understand stress, and we are advising
employers to manage and monitor both working practices and the work environment
to ensure they are not a health risk to staff," she said.

By Daniel Thomas

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