INDUSTRY Managers ignoring duty to protect staff from stress

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Only one in eight managers are aware of official guidance on tackling stress in the workplace even though the problem is costing the economy pounds 6bn a year, a report claimed yesterday.

The TUC and the Transport and General Workers Union are urging the Government to make sure that employers act on their legal duties to protect workers from stress. The report said that a legally enforceable code of practice should be launched to make sure that firms met their responsibilities.

It highlighted a survey of T&G health and safety representatives which showed that stress was one of the main workplace hazards, usually caused by time pressures, too much work, under-staffing and long working hours.

More than two-thirds of those questioned said their management had done nothing to reduce stress at work, while only one in eight employers were said to be aware of Health and Safety Commission guidance on tackling stress.