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Championing a stress-free workplace

Author: Ivan Robertson


  • Employers have a legal duty to manage the risks to employees' health and safety, including the risks arising from stress. (See The legal duty)
  • Following a good practice approach to managing stress is likely to have organisational benefits, including reducing sickness absence. (See Building a business case for stress management)
  • Employers can use the "6 essentials of workplace wellbeing" as a framework for managing stress. (See A framework for managing stress)
  • Psychological wellbeing and resilience training are key to preventing stress. (See Stress, psychological wellbeing and resilience)
  • Employers should manage situational and personal factors to minimise the risk of stress. (See Causes of stress)
  • Where an employee's stress stems from factors outside the workplace, the organisation should take steps to help the employee, because their work may be affected. (See Personal stress)
  • Stress management should be undertaken by teams and individuals throughout the organisation. (See Ownership of stress management)
  • Organisational commitment to stress management is essential to the success of the organisation's stress-management programme. (See Organisational buy-in)
  • Employers should conduct a stress audit (also known as a stress risk assessment) to identify sources of stress and what effect they have on employees. (See Stress audits)
  • A stress policy is essential to raising awareness about the organisation's commitment and approach to managing stress. (See Stress policy)
  • Interventions that can help to deter stress include having a stress-prevention strategy, raising awareness about the organisation's stress-prevention activities and considering the potential for stress during role design and recruitment. (See Primary interventions)
  • Informing and training employees and line managers on stress, enabling them to take exercise and teaching them relaxation techniques can help them to recognise stress and take action to deal with it if it occurs. (See Secondary interventions)
  • Where an employee experiences stress, support for the employee on return to work and employee assistance programmes or in-house counselling can help them to manage it. (See Tertiary interventions)
  • Organisations should examine the effect of their interventions to prevent and manage stress. (See Evaluation)