Stress and the Law

Video 7 of 18
2 min 3 sec
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

Legal Framework for Managing Workplace Stress

Health and Safety at Work Act

The primary legislation addressing workplace stress is the Health and Safety at Work Act. Businesses are legally obligated to:

  • Identify potential causes of stress.
  • Take necessary actions to prevent or reduce stress factors.
  • Evaluate if the cost of addressing stressors is justifiable.

Employers must conduct risk assessments if there are five or more employees, including those working remotely. Individual assessments are crucial to identify and mitigate stress triggers.

Proactive risk assessments allow employers to anticipate stress issues rather than reacting after they become problematic.

Working Time Directive and Rest Breaks

The Working Time Directive specifies maximum working hours, but some roles may require longer hours, with workers able to opt-out. Rest breaks are mandatory to enhance productivity and alleviate stress.

For detailed guidelines on working hours and breaks, consult the HSE website.

Equality Act and Workplace Stress

The Equality Act protects employees from stress-related issues such as discrimination or harassment by employers.

Common compliance issues include inadequate training, poor working conditions, or failure to accommodate employee needs, whether in office or remote settings.

If encountering problems, employees should document concerns and solutions, seeking support from managers or HR, and if necessary, for potential workplace disputes.