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National Stress Week 2011

National Stress Awareness Week 31 October – 4th November

As we approach National Stress Week, Emma Marmion, HR Consultant at Prestige Employment Solutions talks about Stress and the serious consequential impacts it can have on the workplace.

Emma says that “stress at work is a massive problem and in recent years the number of stress cases we have been called to assist in dealing with, has more than doubled.”  The HSE reported that an estimated 9.8 million working days were lost through work-related stress.  Every person experiencing work related stress was off work for an estimated 22.6 days! (09/10)

“It is well recognised that any stress, whether work related or not, can reduce employee well-being however employers must take note that excessive or sustained work pressure can in itself lead to stress” Emma continues.  “Occupational stress poses a risk to most businesses and compensation payments for stress are increasing.  2011 saw the case of Driscoll a sports reporter sacked in April 2007 while on long-term sick leave for stress-related depression awarded £792,736 by the east London employment tribunal!  So employers, HR managers and those responsible for staff relations, really cannot afford not to pay attention to the impact that Stress can have on their business.

Emma says that it is important that employers meet the challenge by dealing with excessive and long-term causes of stress.  
Here are some of the steps that employers can take to deal with stress in the workplace.

1.    Employers should ensure that they are aware of the signs of stress; in particular the physical, emotional and behavioural signs of the invisible illness.  
2.    Create a forum to discuss stress and workload pressure.  This should be on a 1-2-1 basis, and should be periodic e.g. monthly line management meetings, quarterly appraisal meetings etc.  
3.    Employers should have a clear stress policy that demonstrates the steps they will take to proactively prevent stress in the workplace along with steps they will take to assist an employee to return to work after a period of stress.
4.    Employers should train staff on how to recognise their personal triggers/ causes of stress, the symptoms they experience and to identify their coping strategy for minimizing stress.  This early recognition is key, and Emma has found that this stress training identifies the responsibility of the individual to recognise the cause of stress in themselves so that employers can help.

(Check out for information on upcoming training events.)
You can follow prestige on facebook or log on to for some free information on the steps you can take to manage Stress in the workplace.

Employers can also call the Consultants at Prestige on 0845 9011 901 for support and advice on any of their employment issues.


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