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Credit crunch causes rising stress levels

02 April 2009

All areas of our lives are being affected by the current global economic climate, especially at work. Stress in the workplace is becoming more and more common, therefore, it is important to know your rights with respect to workplace stress and the effect it can have on the workforce.

Credit crunch causes rising stress levels
Credit crunch causes rising stress levels

Gordon Hawkins from Lloyds Employment Law Consultancy advises that ‘Stress’ has been called the new ‘backache’ as it can be perceived as a “skiver’s charter”! It is difficult to disprove its existence and impossible to defend against from a company point of view. However, statistics show that, even before the current recession, more and more people were finding the pace of modern life stressful. Since the onset of the credit crunch stress levels have risen hugely, with large amounts of the population falling prey to this most modern of sicknesses. But what is stress and how can the employer counteract it?

Stress may be defined as the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them. This may be due to work or factors outside work. While there may be beneficial effects of reasonable pressure and challenge, there can sometimes be a distressing reaction to demands or pressures. If stress is intense, or continues for prolonged periods of time, it can have adverse affects on both physical and mental health, and employers have a responsibility to consider the impact stress may have on employees.

Employers have responsibilities to their employees, so to avoid lengthy tribunals and expensive claims, employers must provide relevant training or information for managers on the issues, provide adequate resources to enable managers to implement this policy and implement the policy in line with the principles of good employment law practice.

Hawkins said that "managers must deal with the issue promptly and in the strictest confidence while making all reasonable efforts to reduce any work-related stress…..where appropriate, formal stress counselling should, if reasonably practicable, be arranged by the company."

It is imperative that Employers get this right! For professional advice about how to manage stress in the workplace, you should contact Lloyds Law on Ph: 0844 7700 656. The experienced professionals at Lloyds will ensure that you are equipped with all the facts!

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