Employers urged to health-check their staff

Insurance
firm Zurich Municipal is urging public sector employers to implement regular
workplace health checks, after a 30 per cent rise in stress-related claims over
the last 12 months.

The
firm has published a series of recommendations which call on employers to
improve training as part of a drive to identify and deal with workplace stress.

Alan
Woof, underwriting director at Zurich Municipal, said increased pressure to
improve local services and the fast pace of change was partly to blame.

He
said that insufficient time and a lack of training was exacerbating workplace
stress.

Zurich
Municipal recommends public sector employee and employers:


Show an open and understanding attitude to staff who say they are under too
much pressure


Share problems


Encourage communication between key players in the organisation


Vary working conditions and patterns


Reassess workloads


Apply the risk management process to the issue of stress and develop policies
to deal with it


Encourage flexible working


Use an open-door policy which is about positive management and a supervisory
culture


Provide staff support and counselling


Invest in general staff training as well as stress management training

By Ross Wigham

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