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Give greater protection to employees who suffer work related stress

Comment 4th July 2010

The laws relating to work related stress is weak and arbitrary.  Employees should have greater protection in relation to work related stress illness.  Job descriptions should legally have to set out clearly the expected stressors of the job so that in the case of a person suffering a stress related illness it can be easier determined if their work has exceeded the normal expectations. 

Also, as with physical injury at work, employers should be obliged to investigate incidents of work related stress illness and take action to address the causes.  In cases of severe illness or long term absence the HSE should investigate.  Currently employers are protected by  grievance procedures which a stressed person can find difficult to raise and even if one is taken up the employer will fight tooth and nail to deny any responsibility for fear of litigation. 

Why does this matter?

Stress at work is an increasing problem and in some organisations is a major issue but is hidden behind legal protection that favors employers.

Stress needs to be considered on an equal footing with other health and safety problems.

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