It appears that despite evidence that phsychosocial risks and particularly stress related risks are the fastest growing health and safety related risks in Europe there is a long way to go to convince employers and senior managers that it is a matter to be taken seriously. According to new research from AXA PPP Healthcare two thirds of senior business managers and owners don’t believe that suffering from stress, anxiety or depression is a serious enough reason for employees to be off work.
One in five said they would worry about the employees capability to do their job if they were off and, one in six would worry about the consequences for themselves personally, such as it reflecting poorly on their management style or having to pick up additional work, even though a quarter of those managers acknowledged that they have experienced a mental health problem themselves.
There is the recent workplace case involving an employee who, it is now believed, suffered from suicidal tendencies– the pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in March this year. This is of course an extreme case, however in March 2014 it was reported that in France 10 employees of telecoms company Orange (formerly France Telecom) had killed themselves since the beginning of the year and that most of those, according to the company itself, were ‘explicitly’ related’ to their jobs. There have also been reports of work-related suicides in Japan resulting from the pressures imposed on workers, particularly in the financial sector.
Can this happen in the UK? There has been a case published on the NHS choices website where the widow of a suicide victim talks about the impact of her husbands death and the pressures he was working under in his middle management job, before taking voluntary redundancy.
There is undoubtedly a growing concern with regard to health and stress in the workplace and organisations need to have procedures in place to help manage workplace stress.
Cardinus Consultancy are already working with organisations to develop their stress management policy and can help your organisation too, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7469 0200.