Managing Workplace Stress

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The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has recently published its eleventh annual survey of absence management trends during 2009. The average level of employee absence at 3.4% of working time or 7.7 days per year has increased slightly compared with the previous year’s 3.3% or 7.4 days. Absence levels do vary significantly across industrial sectors with the average level of absence remaining the highest in the public sector at 9.6 days per employee per year and also in the non-profit sector. As expected, causes of absence regularly include colds, flu, stomach upsets, headaches/migraines and back pain but stress is beginning to feature regularly and results in increasingly more time being taken off work.

The CIPD, together with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Acas, has published a new guide, Work-related stress: what the law says, which highlights employers’ legal obligations in identifying and managing stress at work. The guide also discusses the potential legal ramifications of ignoring these responsibilities and advised on tackling stress through good management.

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