(Page last updated on 08.04.06 )
No Win Situation for Employers Who Fail to Protect Workers from Stress
Employers who fail to tackle workplace stress and bullying management will face increased sickness absence, decreased productivity and poorer working relationships, according to organisers of the Fifth Annual Conference of the UK National Work Stress Network.
More than 70 employees from a range of professions will debate the theme of 'Brutalities of the Workplace' at the Conference in Birmingham on Saturday 20th November 2004.
Issues to be covered will also include the Health and Safety Executive's recently issued 'Stress Management Standards' guidance which has failed to impose a common duty of care upon employers, according to the Network.
Ian Draper, Convener of the Network, said:
"Stress continues to be a serious factor in the work-related ill health. Too many workers fall sick as a result of the failure of employers and managers to create a caring, supportive culture.
"Too much physical and psychological damage is done to workers in an environment where they have little control over work-rate, face constant change, are subject to excessive demands, high profile performance management and - above all - bullying management styles."
The Network's website, www.workstress.net, receives more than 10,000 visits a month by employees looking for support and advice.
Ian Draper continued:
"I regularly receive calls from desperate workers or their relatives seeking a way to find an acceptable way of dealing with the serious damage to health that has been caused by unsympathetic work colleagues and managers.
"The Network called upon the HSE to deliver an approved code of practice for employers. Sadly, for employers and employees, the HSE failed to ensure regulation which will contribute to demotivated workforces, decreased productivity and higher sickness absence rates."
Speakers at the one-day event include:
- Tom Mellish, TUC Health and Safety Expert
- Steve Lee from the HSE Stress Priority Programme
- Warinder Jess and Simon Dewsbury from Thompson's Solicitors in the West Midlands
BBC Two's Money Programme is making a film which is looking at absenteeism in the workplace, examining some of the causes and the cures. "We are keen to speak to people who have experienced stress at work. How was your employer? Did you lose pay? Were their adequate support systems in place?
Ideally we would like to record an interview with someone who would be willing to tell their story, we may be able to protect the identity of an individual should this be an issue.
If you are interested in talking to me further in confidence please contact me via email or phone 0208 7527447.
BBC seeks stressed out call centre workers
High workloads, performance monitoring, heavy emphasis on achieving targets, little control over how tasks are completed, low job satisfaction, constant repetition, unsympathetic management - the principal causes of stress?
Or are they just a call handler's job description?
The BBC would like to talk to call centre employees who feel their working conditions are unacceptable. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All correspondence will be kept confidential.
Hewitt Launches Drive to Stamp Out workplace Bullies
24th March 2004 UKonline website
The Stress Network welcomes this initiative on the part of Government and will work closely with Ministers and AMICUS in the research project where possible.
Ian Draper, Convener of the UK
National Work-Stress Network said,
"Over 30& of stress-related illness is caused by workplace bullying and harassment which is the scourge of many British workplaces."
"Brutal management styles, the targeting and freezing out of individual workers, hectoring and harassment of a variety of kinds all targeted at individual workers are totally unacceptable, and must be eradicated - employers have a duty of care to do so. By failing to carry out this responsibility under health and Safety legislation, they lay themselves open to negligence claims."
"Not to respect the dignity at work of all employees is a crime against humanity, and must be challenged in every workplace in the land where it happens."
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