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Q. Heads of institution and managers

Line managers should be alert to the risk of work-related stress in their staff and to signs of adverse reactions in individuals. This awareness will prompt them to take remedial action. Their responsibilities are to:

  • Conduct appropriate risk assessments using HSE Management Standards, covering demands, control, support, relationships, role and change, and HSE guidance on risk assessment in general
  • Implement actions arising out of risk assessments
  • Ensure good communication especially where there are organisational or procedural changes
  • Ensure staff understand and, if necessary, are trained to perform their roles and, as appropriate, encouraged to develop further
  • Monitor workload, working hours, annual leave and sickness absence to ensure that staff are not overloaded
  • Ensure that bullying and harassment is not tolerated.
  • Offer support to any member of staff who is experiencing stress outside the workplace
  • As part of the monitoring process, conduct return to work interviews with staff when they resume work after any period of sick leave and exit interviews with staff leaving the University
  • Refer the employee to the Occupational Health Service should they or their doctor attribute a period of sickness absence to work-related stress.

Q. Members of staff

All staff have an individual responsibility to minimise the risk of any kind of harm to themselves and their colleagues and to co-operate with the University in its efforts to manage work-related stress.

  • Staff must co-operate with their managers to reduce hazards that may affect their physical and/or mental well-being, including attending any training provided and following guidance regarding work-related hazards.
  • Where an individual believes they are at significant risk of work-related stress, then they should inform their manager in confidence so that appropriate steps can be taken to reduce the risk. Other sources of support to which they can turn if they feel they cannot speak to their manager for any reason include Occupational Health, Human Resources, Union representatives, or the Staff Counselling service, as appropriate, who will facilitate early support or intervention.
  • Staff must recognise their own training and development needs
  • Staff should be aware that a healthy lifestyle supported by an appropriate work–life balance is an important contribution to a person's well-being.

Q. The Human Resources Division

  • Give guidance to managers on the stress policy
  • Monitor the success of the stress policy by providing and analysing sickness absence and labour turnover statistics and conducting surveys of staff attitudes
  • Provide support to managers and staff, through provision of written guidance and training
  • Provide assistance in managing individual cases of stress and advice on stress prevention
  • Ensure that the stress policy is implemented

Q. Support Services

The agencies involved in supporting heads of Institution and individuals in achieving these objectives and their responsibilities are as follows:

The Occupational Health Service, the Health and Safety Office and the Staff Counselling Service, whose responsibilities are:

  • The provision of training to both management and employees on stress awareness, the risk assessment process and the application of appropriate control measures
  • Providing confidential consultation with the aim of assessing, medically managing or referring for specialist assistance, as appropriate
  • Consulting with management, reassessing the work environment as part of problem investigation or rehabilitation, and advising on the need for any individual work adjustments
  • Providing counselling and/or welfare advice to staff experiencing stress

Through the operation of the Staff Services Group (the HR Division and the Support Services functions mentioned above) to:

  • Monitor and review the effectiveness of measures to reduce stress
  • Keep the University informed of any changes and developments in the field of stress at work

Q. The Safety Committees

  • Ensure that the stress policy is implemented
  • Oversee monitoring of the efficacy of the policy and the measures it recommends

Q. Departmental Safety Officers

  • Monitor the implementation of safety policy locally
  • Advise the head of institution on the effectiveness of the local arrangements and the adequacy of the control measures, for example as a result of carrying out risk assessments
  • Report on safety to the head of institution