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New ‘Work Stress Guide Handbook’ From UK National Work Stress Network

This new workplace stress guide book was produced last year, and seeks to educate and raise awareness of work-stress and to improve legislation on health, safety and employment rights in the UK and Europe.

Produced by the UK National Work Stress Network, a voluntary organisation that campaigns to secure proper recognition of the damage caused by work-stress and to prevent work-related stress.

The organisation is part of the ‘Hazards Campaign’ and has close links to the Trade Union movement. The UK National Work Stress Network consists of unpaid volunteers, bringing together workplace trade union and health and safety representatives, academics, safety professionals and others to campaign for the better protection of workers against stress-related mental and physical illnesses caused by poorly controlled workplace psycho-social hazards.

Pic: click the pic to go to the websiteThe UK Work-Stress Network has been fighting for years alongside Trade Unions and the Hazards Campaign for the protection of Health and Safety in the workplace, action on Stress and Mental Health. The organisation, Trade Unions and the TUC, now have major concerns about the outcome of any shift of EU-based health and safety law into UK law and the very likely future diminution of Health and Safety and other associated laws.

Stress is a major cause of sickness absence in the workplace and costs over £5 billion a year in Great Britain. It affects individuals, their families and colleagues by impacting on their health but it also impacts on employers with costs relating to sickness absence, replacement staff, lost production and increased accidents.

The latest edition of “Work Stress Guide” handbook has been published with the CWU being one of the publication’s sponsors, along with several other Unions; FBU, FDA, GMB, NASUWT, UNISON, Unite and both the Hazards Campaign and Scottish Hazards.

The New handbook examines:

The problem:

  • The extent of work-related stress illness.
  • The cost of work-related stress illnesses to the individual, society and the economy.
  • The causes of work-related stress.
  • The effects of stress on the mental and physical health of workers.
  • Obstacles to progress.
  • The law.
  • The solution.
  • Preventing work stress (the role of Government, employers, Trade Unions and individuals).
  • Conducting a risk assessment.
  • Dealing with individual stress.

Pic: Work Stress Book - click to downloadAppendices

  • WorkStress (UK National Work Stress Network).
  • Fit notes.
  • Sample workplace audit forms.
  • The European dimension.
  • Useful sources of information.
  • References.

The Appendices give further information about the WorkStress Network, examine how other European countries are tackling the problem of psycho-social workplace hazards, give some examples of Workplace Audit Forms and lists some further sources of information.

The handbook should be of use to many, including:

  • Employers, managers and human resources staff.
  • Trade Union Health and Safety Representatives and Union Reps.
  • Trade Union tutors and students.
  • Professionals in the field of mental health and occupational health.
  • Academics.
  • Employees with personal experience of workplace stress and its effects.

The preface to the booklet makes interesting reading and mirrors the concerns of majority of forward-thinking people in relation to the intention of this current government and worker's rights after we leave the European Union, and the ineptness of opposition political parties in dealing with this:

'This booklet was produced during the lead in to the 2017 General Election which saw a significant shift in the balance of power at Westminster, and the situation surrounding work related stress and employment law has now become somewhat unpredictable. In the background continued debate about the result of the EU Referendum has placed the principles of employment law and rights of workers in a potentially delicate situation.

How the transfer of EU Directive based laws into UK Law will affect those laws related to workers’ rights is unknown.

Workstress has been fighting for years over the protection of issues around Health and Safety in the Workplace and now has major concerns about the outcome of any shift of EU-based law into UK law and the very likely future diminution of Health and Safety and other associated laws.

In late July 2017, UNISON secured a major victory in the Supreme Court making all charges for applications to the Employment Tribunal no longer legal. The Government has had to back track and refund some £27million of paid fees. References to such fees in this booklet obviously now no longer apply.'

You can download the booklet from the Unionsafety E-Library Database or by clicking the book cover pic.

Note: There are over 40 documents on stress alone in the E-Library

Source: LTB247/18 CWU / unionsafety


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