April is Stress Awareness Month

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), via their Working Minds campaign, has declared April Stress Awareness Month.


Work-related stress is an important consideration for businesses since all employers have a legal duty to prevent work related stress to support good mental health in the workplace.


Managing work-related stress doesn’t just help employees, it can help employers avoid the problems that stress brings with it: reduced productivity, sickness absence, or even having staff leave.


The HSE are inviting employers to complete 5 steps, taking 1 a week over the 5 weeks of April.


The 5 steps are:
1.   Reach out and have conversations.
2.   Recognise the signs and causes of stress.
3.   Respond to any risks identified by agreeing action points.
4.   Reflect on the actions taken – have things improved?
5.   Make it Routine to check back in on how things are going.


Sometimes stress is easy to spot in the workplace, but there can be less obvious indicators that stress is taking a toll on workers. For instance, stress may be behind a worker who is taking more time off, arriving for work later, seems to have lost motivation or confidence, or seems more emotional or nervous than normal.


An increase in arguments, complaints, sickness absence, people leaving, or decreased performance can be indicators that there is a stress problem affecting team members.


The legal duty that employers have in relation to stress does not extend to diagnosing or treating stress. However, it is an employer’s responsibility to identify the risks of stress and then act on them.


See: https://workright.campaign.gov.uk/april-is-stress-awareness-month-five-steps-in-five-weeks/