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What the law says

Legislation covering stress at work is surprisingly piecemeal. There’s no one piece of law that covers it. Instead, protection comes from a wide range of regulations:.

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to be more active about identifying risks through risk assessment of health and safety issues, including stress, and make sure there are adequate controls in place to deal with the issue. To take measures to control that risk (under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) essentially employers are required to provide a workplace that is safe and healthy.

Certain offences can now be tried in a Crown Court, of two year jail sentences and an unlimited fine. (under The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008)

The Working Time Regulations 1998 limit the working week to 48 hours. However, many companies may ask employees to waive their right to be governed by this piece of legislation, which is legal.

The Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 state that employers should risk assess the use of display screen equipment in their companies.

The Health and Safety Executive’s Stress Management Standards set out a structure for employers to follow

They cover several areas:

  • the demands made on employees
  • the level of control employees have over their work
  • the support employees receive from managers and colleagues
  • the clarity of an employee's role within the organisation
  • the nature of relationships at work
  • the way that change is managed

What to do next

Conduct a Stress Risk Assessment to determine the cultural and commercial cost of stress to your organisation.

Our Clients Include:

GE
Shell
P&G
Alianz
Islington
British Airways

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