TUC study reveals stress is now a top health and safety concern at work

A study published to coincide with World Mental Health Day by the Trades Union Congress suggests that 70% of workplaces now have a problem with stress.

Asking over 1,000 health and safety reps around the UK to identify hazards in the workplace that most trouble them and their workforce, the survey found that 70% cited stress as a problem. This is an increase of 3% since the last survey in 2014 and was the highest proportion recorded in the biennial study, with public sector employees particularly affected.

Employers are responsible under health and safety legislation to assess and control risks from workplace stress. By taking appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of employees is properly protected, employers can prevent stress-related claims being brought against your business.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The message from the shop floor is clear, stress is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. Pressures of long working hours and low job security are being felt in workplaces across the UK.

“It’s in no-one’s interests to have overstretched workforces. People who experience high anxiety are less productive and are more likely to take time off. Stress is preventable if staff have reasonable workloads, supportive managers and a workplace free from violence, bullying and harassment.”

Legal issues that arise from unacceptable levels of workplace stress and bullying at work continue to increase. A growing number of employees are pursuing claims for personal injury, unfair constructive dismissal and breach of the Protection from Harassment Act as a result of suffering from undue stress at work.

With extensive experience in this sensitive and potentially difficult area of employment law, our department of specialist employment law solicitors can advise you on how to avoid and deal with such issues.

Learn more about how we can help to prevent claims from damaging your business, from offering guidance on avoiding employment discrimination to providing employment tribunal representation in court if claims are pursued further.

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