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Managing Stress at Work Policy Responsible Directorate: Date Approved Committee Signature of Accountable Director Print Name

Human Resources/Organisational Development TBC Governance Committees/Partnership Forum, PCT Board

Sue Ellis Director of HR and OD Calderdale and Kirklees PCTs

Document Title Document number Author Contributors Version Date of Production Review date Postholder responsible for revision Primary Circulation List Web address


Managing Stress at Work Policy Two Ed Sherwood, Norah Wright See Stakeholders Four 13.06.08 13.06.10 Ed Sherwood, Norah Wright All staff None


C7C undertake systematic risk assessment and risk management;

Core / Development Standard Reference

D1 Health care organisations continuously and systematically review and improve all aspects of their activities that directly affect patient safety and apply best practice in assessing and managing risks to patients, staff and others, particularly when patients move from the care of one organisation to another. D12 Health care is provided in well-designed environments that a) promote patient and staff well-being, and meet patients’ needs and preferences, and staff concerns

Performance Indicators

1. Staff Surveys 2. Occupational Health reports 3. Reports to HR Committees

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Index Section




Policy Statement






Associated Policies and Procedures


Aims and Objectives



Scope of policy



Accountabilities 6.1 Director and Board 6.2 Manager 6.3 Occupational Health 6.4 Human Resources 6.5 Employees 6.6 Staff side Representatives 6.7 Risk Management Operational Group


Equality Impact Assessment













Appendices A

Risk Assessment tools


Information Sources available for staff


Training Needs Analysis


Equality Impact Assessment Tool

9 - 10 11 12 - 13 14

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Policy Statement

The PCT is committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of employees and acknowledges that workplace stress is a risk to health and the importance of identifying and reducing workplace stressors. This policy will apply to all staff in the organisation and is provided for contractors to implement as required. 2.


The Health and Safety Executive define stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”. This makes an important distinction between pressure which can be a positive state if managed correctly, and stress which can be detrimental to health. The PCT is working to develop a positive working environment for all its employees, ensuring better communications, support systems and policies and procedures to help staff manage their work life balance. A significant part of managing stress is simply following good management practice. There are a number of tools that line managers and employees have available to them that should ensure that there are opportunities to identify and address stressors at an early stage – these include specific formal processes (e.g. recruitment, induction, appraisal, occupational health) and the informal processes that form a key element of managing staff effectively, including maintaining good relationships with employees. This policy and associated guidance will provide clarification for staff and managers in handling work related stress. This policy has been produced with reference to various Health and Safety Executive [HSE] publications which can be accessed via the HSE website 3.

Associated Policies and Procedures.

This document should be read in conjunction with the PCTs Guidelines for the Management of Stress at work. The following documents should be referred to when handling cases of stress at work and are available on the PCT Intranet, Internet, via Line Managers and from the Human Resources Department and is not exhaustive. • • • • •

Capability Management Guidelines Capability Policy Dealing with Ill Health Policy and Procedures Guidelines for the Management of Stress at work Guidelines on Dealing with Ill Health Page 3 of 14

• • • • • 4.

Harassment at Work Policy and Procedure Health and Safety at Work Policy Risk Assessment Procedure Special Leave Policy Whistle blowing policy

Aims and Objectives.

To identify all workplace stressors and conduct/review risk assessments to eliminate stress or control the risks from stress (see appendix A)

Consult with Trade Union Safety Representatives on all proposed action relating to the prevention of workplace stress.

Provide training for managers in the management of stress via Personal Development Reviews.

Provide confidential counseling for staff affected by stress caused by either work or external factors.

In conjunction with the associated guidance the policy will ensure that the PCT has a consistent approach to identifying, assessing and managing work related stress that is consistent with best practice as identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 5.

Scope of the Policy

This policy applies to all PCT employees including staff on temporary, honorary or bank contracts as well as students or secondments into the organisation. The document is provided for contractors to implement as necessary. 6.

Accountabilities & Responsibilities


Senior Management

The Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development is the Board level Director with responsibility for this policy. The Assistant Director of Human Resources is responsible for the implementation of the policy and for ensuring that adequate system and processes are in place to manage work related stress. In cases where specialist support is required to manage stress the Assistant Director of Human Resources will seek appropriate personnel. A specific example of this relates to staff being required to attend legal hearings including as a witness or to provide evidence in support of legal action.

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Managers have a key role with managing work related (occupational) stress and therefore have a number of actions that they are responsible for: •

• • •

Attendance at training courses provided by the Trust to enable the identification and management of work related stress. Ensure that staff exhibiting signs of stress are provided with immediate and ongoing support either directly or by seeking the advice, support and guidance from Human Resources, Risk Management or Occupational Health. Conduct risk assessments and implement recommendations within their jurisdiction. Ensure good communications between management and staff particularly where there are organisational and procedural changes Use the appraisal process to ensure staff are fully trained to discharge their duties and are provided with meaningful developmental opportunities Monitor workloads and working time and the use of the Options Scheme to ensure that people are not overloaded and ensure they are able to take their holiday entitlements Ensure zero tolerance of bullying and harassment Be vigilant in offering support to staff experiencing stress outside work Work to maintain good employee relations with their staff


Occupational Health – Aims and Objectives

• • • •

The PCT has a Service Level Agreement for Occupational Health Services provided by the Mid Yorkshire Acute Trust, this agreement will be regularly monitored by the Occupational Health Steering Group in their regular meetings, reports will be produced and actions plans developed to address any areas identified. The Occupational Health Steering Group are accountable to HR Shared Services Board Occupational Health is a vital function for the management of work related (occupational) stress and therefore has a number of objectives which include providing; • • • •

Advice support and guidance for Managers in conducting risk assessments Provide immediate and ongoing support to staff referred by the PCT or who refer themselves as suffering from stress related concerns Provide a confidential counselling service for staff affected by stress Proactively advise Managers and the PCT of trends and patterns they become aware of which impact on the stress of employees, whilst maintaining individual confidentiality.

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Support the PCT to raise awareness and deliver training to managers in handling stress related incidents and reports Provision of statistics to help manage stress at an organisational level Provide specialist advice and awareness sessions on stress Review stress policy and make recommendations based on statistical and other data

• • •


Human Resources

Human Resources have a role with managing work related (occupational) stress and therefore have a number of actions that they are responsible for. • • • • • •


Provide immediate and ongoing advice, support and guidance to managers on implementing the stress policy and the handling of ill health Ensure consistent application of HR systems and policy including appraisal system for all staff Provide sickness data to allow monitoring of the effectiveness of employee support systems Support managers and individuals through the changing work environment Be responsible for the performance reporting of human resource data to ensure high levels of management standards (e.g. sickness monitoring, turnover rates) Provide support to staff called as witnesses, either internally or externally through direct support or by utilising specialists from within or outside of the organisation. Employees

Employees at all levels also have a personal role with managing work related (occupational) stress which includes (but which are not exclusive of) • • • • 6.6.

Raising issues of concern for themselves and others with managers, staff side representatives or occupational health Acting responsibly to ensure their own and their colleagues health and safety Taking responsibility for working with their managers and colleagues to manage their work-life balance and working environment Complying with advice and instructions Staff Side Representatives

The effective management of work related (occupational) stress requires the involvement of a number of stakeholders including staff side representatives. Very often staff will consult with staff side in cases of work related stress concerns and therefore the involvement of good staff side representatives

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providing advice support and guidance at all levels is considered best practice. • To engage with management on changes in the work environment that could precipitate stress • To consult with their members on issues of stress • To be meaningfully engaged in seeking solutions where risk assessments require action to be taken • To attend the Occupational Health Steering group and advise of any issues raised through their forums and support actions. • To support individuals (at all levels) in cases of work based stress. 6.7.

Risk Management Operational Group

The management of Health, Safety and Risk is the responsibility of the Risk Management Operational Group who are accountable to the Governance Committee and ultimately the Trust Board. As a stakeholder in the effective management of work based (occupational) stress RMOG have a number of related responsibilities. • • • • • • 7.

To ensure health and safety legislation is applied across the Trust. To monitor trends and patterns of reports made to the Trust and to advise committees of the findings. To advise on actions required to manage any identified risks. To provide advice support and guidance to staff, managers, directors and the Board. To advise on any H&S or risk related training. To support workplace inspections as requested. Equality Impact Assessment.

All public bodies have a statutory duty under the Race Relation (Amendment) Act 2000 to “set out arrangements to assess and consult on how their policies and functions impact on race equality.” This obligation has been increased to include equality and human rights with regard to disability age and gender. The PCT aims to design and implement services, policies and measures that meet the diverse needs of our service, population and workforce, ensuring that none are placed at a disadvantage over others. In order to meet these requirements, a single equality impact assessment is used to assess all its policies/guidelines and practices. This policy was found to be compliant with this philosophy with a copy of the assessment attached to the policy.

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Training will be provided to enable staff and managers to recognise and manage stress related concerns. The Training will be commissioned by the HR department and managed by the Trust Training and Educational Leads. A Training needs analysis is as attached Appendix D.


Monitoring Compliance with Policy

This policy will be monitored by HR Shared Services who will be responsible for ensuring that the policy is made available for staff and managers and that any necessary training is provided. HR Shared Services will monitor the effectiveness of the stress management policies and support programmes by collating and interpreting data. The data will include a number of sources including occupational health reports, incident reports, staff side reports, staff questionnaire, claims, grievances, complaints, media, HSE investigations, exit interviews, disciplinary hearings, external and internal reports. It is the responsibility of Human Resources Shared Services to collate and interpret the data which will be presented to the Staff Partnership Forum at least annually or as required by individual organisations. The Staff Partnership Forum will review the effectiveness of the stress management policy and support programmes and ensure that any deficiencies are noted and resolved. If necessary the Staff Partnership Forum will refer the reports on to individual Trust Boards or Governance Committees. 10.

Key Stakeholders •

Senior Management Team and Management Executive Groups for the Calderdale and Kirklees PCTs

Staff Partnership Forums for the Calderdale and Kirklees PCTs

Occupational Health Services – Mid Yorkshire Trust

Assistant Director Corporate Governance and Risk Kirklees PCT

Policy Development Groups.

Provider Services Board

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Risk Assessment

Appendix A

What is a Risk Assessment? A risk assessment is simply an examination of potential hazards to identify whether reasonable precautions have been taken to ensure that the risk of injury is small. The PCT will undertake risk assessments in line with its duty of care to ensure a safe working environment for all employees A risk assessment should identify the causes of stress and identify reasonable steps to reduce them. The Standards of Stress Management may help to guide an assessment Conducting a Risk Assessment *Based on HSE guidance “5 steps to risk assessment� available free from the HSE website ( Where the need for a risk assessment related to stress is identified advice should be sought from the Human Resources department who may involve Occupational Health, Risk management and staff Health and Safety representatives. Step One: Look for the hazards In terms of stress this process will usually concern an individual who may be suffering from stress due to a number of factors. These can include workload, work patterns, environment, relationships with colleagues, lack of training and education, gaps with instruction, guidance or information required to fulfill the role, external pressures such as court appearances, home life or changes brought about by organisational or local restructuring. The list is not exhaustive. Managers and staff are encouraged to discuss any concerns they may have either with their line manager, HR, Occupational Health or staff side representative. Step Two: Decide who might be harmed and how A staff member suffering from stress may have an impact on themselves but can also have an impact on colleagues, managers, members of public, families and ultimately on patients. When a risk assessment is conducted on any stress related concerns then the impact on others must be considered Step Three: Evaluate the risk whether existing precautions are adequate

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The aim of the assessment is to remove, reduce or control the factors (stressors) that are causing the stress in the first place. These factors can be established through a number of data sources including discussion with individuals, HR, Colleagues, Risk Management and Occupational Health. When ever possible the stressors should be removed without having an effect on others but if they cannot be removed then they must be reduced or controlled. The process of reducing or controlling the factors can involve many changes including alterations to work environments or patterns, providing training and instruction or managing relationships. Controls can also be introduced including the facility for occupational health reviews, counseling and other support mechanisms which may be advised from professional organisations, staffside or external bodies including the Health and Safety Executive. Step Four: Record your findings Any agreed actions should be confirmed in writing. It is important that all findings are recorded and agreed so that they can be referred to during future discussion with staff. Step Five: Review and revise your assessment Regular discussions are required to monitor progress and ensure that the measures and controls are being effective. If the changes are insufficient then the review will indicate this and further action will be required.

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Information Sources available to all staff

Appendix B

1. Staff Handbook – available via Line Manager or Human Resources Department 2. Stress Management Procedure, available via Line Manager, Human Resources Department or PCT Intranet and attached as Apppendix C 3. Health and Safety Executive Website – 4. The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust “Your Occupational Health Service” – Guide to the services provided – available via the Human Resources team 5. The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust NHS Plus Occupational Health Services leaflet – Staff Counselling Service Calderdale and Kirklees PCT “A Guide to the counselling services provided for the benefit of staff” – available via the Human Resources team 6. Your Helping Hand guidance for Managers – Occupational Health Services – available on the Trust Intranet under Human Resources – Forms – Occupational Health 7. In service referral in to Occupational Health Form available on the Trust Intranet under Human Resources – Forms – Occupational Health 8. Pre employment Health Questionnaire available on the Trust Intranet under Human Resources – Forms – Occupational Health

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Training Needs Analysis

Appendix C Stress Management

Training will be provided for all staff regarding the management of stress in the workplace on a voluntary basis. Managers will have training for the management of stress identified through their Personal Development Reviews. Who needs to attend?

HR Specialist.



How can the training be delivered?

Level 3 Advanced: In-depth for specific staff, i.e. stress management

Level 2 2 hour training presentation for managers identified as requiring the training through PDR.

Level 1 Basic Awareness 30 minute session provided for staff as required..

External organisations such as Occupational Health.

Delivered by qualified and competent trainers

Delivered by qualified and competent trainers

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Responsibility for delivery of training Stress Management training will be provided by external trainers who are competent to deliver the training. The responsibility for identifying suitably qualified trainers is with the Head of Training. Training needs assessment It is estimated that there are approximately 1223 staff in the organisation of which 82 are classed senior managers and six in HR who may be called upon to provide specific advice support and guidance. The figures include including temporary and bank staff employed by the Trust who may require access to the training. This is broken down as follows: Level 3 - Advanced

Total 6

Level 2 - Mandatory Training

Total 92

Level 1 - Basic awareness

Total 1141

The aims and objectives for the 3 levels of training are: Overall Aim: To equip staff at all levels with the information need to enable them to identify and manage stress in the workplace. Objectives. Level 1 – Basic To enable all staff to identify common causes of stress in the workplace and how to manage them. Level 2 – All staff To enable managers to identify and manage stress related concerns with staff at all level. Level 3 – specific identified staff To enable staff with a specific function of providing suitable advice support and guidance to staff at all levels on the causes, impact and management actions related to stress in the work place.

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Equality Impact Assessment Tool

Appendix D:

To be completed and attached to any procedural document when submitted to the appropriate committee for consideration and approval. Insert Name of Policy / Procedure Yes/No 1.

Does the policy/guidance affect one group less or more favourably than another on the basis of: • Race • Ethnic origins travellers)

2. 3.

4. 5. 6. 7.





No No

• Nationality


• Gender


• Culture


• Religion or belief


• Sexual orientation including lesbian, gay and bisexual people


• Age


• Disability - learning disabilities, physical disability, sensory impairment and mental health problems


Is there any evidence that some groups are affected differently? If you have identified potential discrimination, are any exceptions valid, legal and/or justifiable? Is the impact of the policy/guidance likely to be negative? If so can the impact be avoided? What alternatives are there to achieving the policy/guidance without the impact? Can we reduce the impact by taking different action?

No No


If you have identified a potential discriminatory impact of this procedural document, please refer it to Human Resources Dept together with any suggestions as to the action required to avoid/reduce this impact. For advice in respect of answering the above questions, please contact Human Resources Department

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