Does your business need a Stress and Wellbeing Policy?

Insights / / Bristol

The increasing awareness around mental health and wellbeing brings with it a better understanding for employers of the impact of stress in the workplace and the drive to increase the support for employees’ mental health.

The World Health Organisation defines stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them”. Workplace stress can be caused and exacerbated by particular roles or tasks, lack of support, or difficulties with managers and colleagues. This can lead to ill-health, as the CIPD Absence Management Survey 2016 found that stress and mental health were amongst the most common causes of long-term absence from work.

The benefits of promoting positive mental health are vast; communication, productivity and retention of staff are all likely to improve in a workplace where mental wellbeing is promoted and the stigma around mental health is challenged. A stress and wellbeing policy allows employers to demonstrate their commitment to mental wellbeing and promote the mental health of staff.

A stress and wellbeing policy could include:

  • Appointment of mental health champions to raise awareness and challenge the stigma around mental health issues;
  • Information about how the employer seeks to improve the physical environment and management structure for the benefit of employee wellbeing;
  • Access to confidential advice or counselling services;
  • Provision for monitoring employee mental health and wellbeing, through line managers or staff surveys; and
  • A mechanism for workloads, responsibilities and working hours to be reviewed where appropriate.

 if you need any assistance with this, please contact the employment team. 

Lydia Cammiade

Lydia Cammiade Associate

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