5 steps employers can take to reduce workplace stress in 2022

7 Jan 22 by Charlotte Ashton
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A recent report by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlighted that over 800,000 workers have suffered from work related stress and anxiety during the past year. This makes up around 50% of the total number of ill health cases across 2020/21 and includes 451,000 new cases of work-related stress.

Charlotte Ashton, our senior solicitor, provides some areas for employers to think about when it comes to supporting their teams...

While the data shows that cases of work-related stress were on the increase prior to the emergence of Covid-19, the report also found the effects of the pandemic to be a major contributory factor to such illnesses.

Employers have a duty to their employees to ensure their health and safety at work, which includes safeguarding their mental health. They should, therefore, be considering such factors when carrying out risk assessments — especially when it comes to common causes of stress at work including workload and management style.

The HSE has Management Standards for work-related stress that sets out six areas which, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and wellbeing. These are: demands, control, support, relationships, role and change. Employers should familiarise themselves with these standards and ensure they use such an approach.

Other practical steps an employer can take include:

  • Having a mental health plan which sets out how employees can access assistance and support when they need it
  • Encouraging employees to become mental health champions and detailing how to access mental health first aider training
  • Regularly obtaining the opinions of staff on whether they are experiencing positive working conditions and benefiting from a healthy work life balance
  • Ensuring that managers and supervisors are able to carry out their roles effectively and have regular training
  •  Monitoring the effectiveness of any policies and practices

Unfortunately, it seems inevitable that stress at work cases will continue to rise and, particularly in a tricky recruitment climate, those employers who pay more than just lip service to protecting the mental health of employees will be better placed to prosper.


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Post by Charlotte Ashton

Senior Solicitor – Head of Immigration, ESP Law Ltd

Charlotte has over 10 years’ experience in all aspects of employment law, having qualified as a solicitor in 2009. She trained in-house with a large UK company, covering 45,000 employees, and moved to private practice on qualification. Charlotte enjoys helping growing companies understand their legal obligations and has given training and presentations to start up entrepreneurs, and business students, at a local University. Charlotte also specialises in business immigration law for the UK and has helped employers obtain sponsor licences in order to recruit from outside the UK.