Workplace Stress – Law and Practice

Jamdar and Byford’s authoritative treatment of this complex issue covers the physical, psychological and behavioural manifestations of stress.  

Workplace Stress – Law and Practice
By Smita Jamdar and Jane Byford
Publisher: The Law Society
Pages: 160 Price: £29.95 ISBN 1-85328-837-Reviewed by David Owen
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Opinions and analysis are based on the legal position up to the 31 July 2003, and the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Hatton V Sutherland.

While acknowledging the perception that the case may offer employers some respite from stress-related personal injury claims, they warn that “employees have had to be more inventive and think more laterally about the types of claims they can bring”.

Consequently, the authors scrutinise the impact of this case and highlight the potential impact of issues ranging from health and safety to discrimination. Every aspect is given the widest legal examination, while always attempting to set out the proactive approaches available to the employer.

The section on bullying and harassment is of particular merit, providing a clear definition of the problem, the organisational impact and costs it gives rise to, the various pertinent pieces of legislation and practical advice to prevent and eradicate unacceptable behaviour.

A comprehensive table of cases, a thorough summary of the relevant pieces of legislation and a table of statutory instruments and European legislation, support the analysis. Every chapter is well written and structured, and provides guidance that is easy to access and digest.

At first glance, the price is a shock for such a slim volume, but closer inspection reveals an excellent and invaluable reference tool for all managers.

It provides the means to determine your position, compare existing policies and practices with best practice advice on the management of stress, and highlights potential future areas that will need to be addressed.

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David Owen, senior HR officer, Luton Borough Council

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