New Acas guidance on managing work-related stress

Posted on May 12th, 2023

In November 2022, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published its annual statistics. The figures revealed that there were around 914,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/2022, with an estimated 17 million working days lost.

HSE’s Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, stated:

“Stress and poor mental health is the number one cause of work-related ill health. The effects of stress, depression and anxiety can have a significant impact on an employee’s life and on their ability to perform their best at work. Britain is one of the safest places in the world to work but we need all employers to do more and take seriously their responsibilities to support good mental health at work.”

Acas has now published new guidance and resources to help support both employers and employees in dealing with work-related stress.

The guidance includes:

  • An explanation of the causes and signs of stress, noting that stress is not an illness in itself, but can affect an individual’s physical and mental health.
  • An overview of the law on work-related stress, the two main areas of relevant health and safety law being:
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which puts a ‘duty of care’ on employers to protect their employees from the risk of stress at work.
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which require all employers to make a ‘suitable and sufficient assessment’ of all risks to the health and safety of their employees at work.
  • How to support employees with work-related stress.
  • Advice on how to prevent work-related stress.

Full Acas advice

A link to the Acas guidance can be found here.

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