Court ruling puts an end to psychic management

first_img Previous Article Next Article Stress has been a nightmare for employers. The number of stress claims madeby employees has spiralled, with new TUC research suggesting there has been a12-fold increase. The six-figure payouts attached to many successful claimshave made it a very painful phenomenon. Until now, the onus has been on the employer to ascertain whether employeesare stressed. But there have been serious difficulties – how do you spotstress? After all, one person’s stress might be another person’s motivation. Many in HR will be breathing a sigh of relief after the Court of Appealruling last week that overturned three damages awards in work-related stressclaims. It has set out guidelines that could reverse this growing trend. The ruling means employers no longer have to be psychic. Employees will needto raise their concerns regarding stress with employers and give them a chanceto do something about it. If staff do not give the employer this opportunitythey will find it hard to prove a breach of care. From now on, employers can assume that the employee can withstand the normalpressures of a job. These guidelines will go a long way in helping HR identify staff who aregenuinely suffering from stress and those jumping on the compensationbandwagon. But there is still a lot of work to be done, with another piece of newresearch claiming that nine out of 10 staff are suffering a degree ofwork-related stress. HR has to ensure procedures are in place to tackle stress, includingeffective communication and counselling services. Staff have to feel confidentthey can approach HR or their line manager about stress without it affectingtheir standing. And line managers must not be allowed to avoid good andsensitive management by hiding behind the excuse that staff did not tell themthey had a problem. By Mike Broad Court ruling puts an end to psychic managementOn 12 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more