Local experts warn businesses of dangers of workplace stress
North East businesses are being warned of the dangers of stress, as the recession continues to place more pressure on employees.
A recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development claims that stress has now become the most common cause of long-term sick leave in Britain.
Over 13 million working days are lost each year due to stress, at a cost of £3.7 billion.
As National Stress Awareness Day shines the spotlight on the issue, Newcastle insurance broker Bluefin are attempting to raise awareness of employer obligations to deal with workplace stress, under the terms of their liability insurance.
Head of customer proposition at Bluefin, Peter Castle, said: “Workplace stress is often thought of as an HR and legal issue but there can be important insurance implications to consider.
“The good news is that in most cases incidents of stress can be solved without the need for the affected employee to resort to legal action but it is very important that businesses keep their insurance companies informed during complaints of workplace stress to avoid potential claims in the future.
“Stress is an increasing feature of many workplaces and it is essential that businesses don’t bury their heads in the sand, but instead take action to tackle stress before it’s too late.”
By law, businesses are required to take out employers’ liability insurance, which enables them to meet the costs of damages and legal fees for employees who are injured, made ill or suffer psychiatric harm at work through the fault of the employer.
Bluefin are keen to remind businesses that they must comply with liability policies by notifying their insurance company in the event of an absence attributed to work related stress.
Doing so also gives insurers the opportunity to offer guidance and support that could prevent employees from suffering further harm.
It is unlikely that a business will be found in breach of their employer’s liability policy if they show reasonable steps to prevent stress from causing a medically diagnosed ‘psychiatric injury’ such as offering alternative roles or counselling.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .
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