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Hewett Legal Corner - Novermber 2014 #22

Hewett Legal Corner - November #22

Stress in the workplace impacts on an employees home and social life more than we think....
Research by Mind to mark National Stress Awareness Day which took place on Wednesday 5th November, has revealed that staff are still experiencing high levels of stress.

Over half of those surveyed (56 per cent) said they found work very or fairly stressful, more so than debt or financial problems (38 per cent), health (29 per cent) or relationships (20 per cent).

The YouGov survey of over 1,250 people in Britain found that workplace stress is impacting on other areas of people’s lives. One in five (20 per cent) said it had put a strain on their marriage or relationship with significant other, while 11 per cent had missed important events such as birthdays or weddings. Stress was also having a physical impact, with 53 per cent agreeing that it affected their sleep, 22 per cent their appetite and 27 per cent their physical health.
The poll also highlighted some common sources of stress at work. Frequently cited factors deemed very or fairly stressful included excessive workload (52 per cent), frustration with poor management (54 per cent), not enough support from managers (47 per cent), threat of redundancy (27 per cent) and unrealistic targets (45 per cent).

In times of stress, many people are resorting to unhealthy coping strategies. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) had smoked cigarettes, over half (55 per cent) had drunk alcohol after work and 12 per cent had even drunk alcohol during the working day to cope with workplace stress.
The research also revealed that mental health at work is still a taboo. Nearly a third (30 per cent) of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to talk openly with their line manager if they were stressed. Of the 14 per cent of our survey respondents who had a diagnosed mental health problem, fewer than half (45 per cent) had told their current employer. Mind is calling for employers to create an open culture where people feel able to discuss their wellbeing and tackle the causes of stress among their staff.
Despite the high prevalence of stress at work, staff still don’t feel comfortable telling their employer if stress has caused them to take time off work. Of those who said they’d taken time off sick with stress, just 5 per cent said the main reason they gave their employer was that they were too stressed to work. The remaining 95 per cent cited another reason for their absence, such as an upset stomach (44 per cent) or a headache (7 per cent).

Read the full article (courtesy of HR Review): HR Review

A recent HR Forum, hosted by Hewett Recruitment and H&W Chamber of Commerce,  on the subject of Mental Health in the Workplace took place in Redditch.  The presentation by Sue Harris (Director of Strategy  and Business  Development) and Peter Jordan (Employment and Reablement Services) at the Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust addressed how prevalent mental health is within the workplace and highlighted the support available to employers and courses available to equip staff with the tools to manage mental health.

For details of forthcoming HR Forums across Herefordshire & Worcestershire visit: Hereford & Worcestershire HR Forums

Worcestershire Works Well is a FREE accreditation scheme designed to enable local businesses improve the health and well-being of the work force. It is available to all businesses within Worcestershire. Worcestershire Works Well is committed to supporting businesses improve health and well-being for their employees. For more information visit: Worcestershire Works Well

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