A recent survey by Asb has revealed that 80% of organisations have not introduced
employee stress risk assessments as required by the Health & Safety Executive
(HSE).

Employers are under a legal duty of care to their workforce to implement appropriate
policies to minimise the impact of work-related stress. The HSE estimates that
around 5 million people feel 'very' or 'extremely' stressed by their work and
place the cost to British business of staff-related problems at £3.7
billion per annum. In addition to the immediate detriment to individual employees
and the business as a whole, employers will face ever-increasing insurance
premiums if the number of successful compensation claims continues to rise.

The HSE has published Management Standards, which specify the steps employers
should be taking in relation the following six key risk areas: demands, control,
support, relationships, role and change. These form a useful starting point
for employers but adherence to these Management Standards does not negate the
potential benefit of a detailed stress policy, which can safeguard an employer
to some degree, against claims for work-related stress.

The government aims to work with employers, employees, trade unions and others
in achieving a 20% reduction in the incidence of work-relates stress by 2010.

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