What Is Work-related Stress?
Stress at work can be caused by many different issues and no person’s cause of stress or their reaction to it is ever the same. Suffering from stress in the workplace is generally understood to be ‘a reaction to an overload of pressure or demand in the workplace’ however this pressure is not always simply overwork – and can manifest itself as many other issues.
In fact, stress at work can be caused by issues such as:
- Being overworked
- Having a lack of support from management or team
- Sexual harassment
- Having mental health issues ignored.
What To Do if You’re suffering from Stress at Work
The first thing you should do if you’re suffering from work related stress is to talk to someone you trust. If you work in a large organisation, you should arrange a meeting with your line manager or someone in HR to discuss your situation. We always advise clients to ensure any meeting discussions are confirmed in writing (e.g. by email) so that there is a record of this meeting taking place. This is to protect you from the potential rebuttal from an employer who claims they were never made aware of your stress if a claim is brought against them.
Your employer then needs to intervene and take responsibility for the cause of your stress, making the necessary adjustments and arrangements to mitigate the cause of your work related stress.
Actions for them to take include reducing your workload, moving you to another area of the office/into a different team, possibly arranging flexible working hours and providing a mentor for you to go to.
If you feel that nothing has been done to help you, you can raise a formal grievance against your employer. Follow your company’s procedures or contact us for advice on what to do next.
You can also get signed off from work by your GP if you feel to ill to be able to go into work at all. Legally you are entitled to statutory sick pay for up to 28 weeks.
What To Do If You’re Being Bullied Or Harassed At Work
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 states that individuals must not pursue any conduct that amounts to harassment of another person that they know or ought to know amounts to harassment.
This bullying and harassment can take many different forms, it isn’t always verbal or physical, it can include: face-to-face interactions, email, social media, telephone calls or texts messages etc.
And can also include behaviour such as:
- Being denied opportunities
- Regularly undermining you (even though you are doing your job well)
- Unfair treatment
- Starting, or spreading rumours about you etc
I have been the victim of bullying and harassment
- Try to address the problem informally at work before seeking a legal route.
- Talk to your manager or human resources team about the issue and see if they can resolve it for you.
- If the informal route doesn’t work, then consider filing a formal grievance with your employer.
- If none of the above works, then talk to us.
More more information and advice on Stress at Work, take a look at the following pages:
Never suffer in silence, always seek help and guidance from those around you.
Workplace Stress – Useful Resources
Below is a useful list of charities and resources that can give you advice on dealing with stress related illness.
http://www.iapt.nhs.uk/services/ – NHS Services for Depression and Anxiety
http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/ – Health and Safety Executive – Workplace Stress – Together we can Tackle it
http://www.ticcs.co.uk/ – The Injury Care Clinics
http://www.rethink.org/ – Mental Health Charity Rethink
http://www.depressionalliance.org/ – Mental Health Charity Depression Alliance
http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ – Mental Health Foundation