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Managing Work Related Stress

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  • 1. South East Business Monitor Survey of Business Owners and Senior Decision Makers Survey of Business Owners and Senior Decision Makers 22 Hot Topic Spotlight Managing Work-related Stress March 2009
  • 2. Contents 1. Introduction 1 2. Managing work-related Stress 2 Key Messages 2 What is work-related stress? 3 Why work-related stress matters 3 How work-related stress affects South East SMEs 4 Business attitudes to work-related stress 5 Recognising work-related stress 6 Managing work-related stress 7 Conclusions 9 3. Annex - Statistics 10
  • 3. Introduction This Hot Topic Spotlight is based upon findings from the South East Business Monitor - a quarterly survey of businesses based in the South East, conducted by the region’s Business Link Providers (BLPs). The Business Monitor has the following key objectives: 1. To identify business issues and concerns; 2. To monitor business intentions and future growth expectations; 3. To explore attitudes towards and experiences of using external business support and advice; 4. To establish whether any gaps exist in current support provision. Every four months, at least 1,200 telephone interviews are conducted with business owners and senior decision makers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), based in the South East. This allows an ongoing ‘temperature check’ of business issues and concerns. The survey results are weighted to reflect the size and structure of the region’s SME population. The questionnaire consists of a set of fixed core questions, and additional ‘hot topic’ questions that change from wave to wave. ‘Work-related Stress’ was covered in Wave 12 of the South East Business Monitor, the fieldwork for which took place in December of 2008. The findings from the hot topic questions are published in a series of Hot Topic Spotlights, freely available upon request. Hot Topic Spotlights currently available are (as at March 2009): 1. Business Start-ups 14. Exporting 2. Fuel, Energy and Water Costs 15. Hidden Innovation 3. 2012 Olympics 16. Leadership and Management 4. Red Tape and SMEs 17. SMEs and the ‘Credit Crunch’ 5. Women’s Enterprise 18. Social Enterprise and Ethical 6. Home-based SMEs Business Practices 7. Sustainability 19. Women’s Enterprise 8. Work-related Stress 20. Responding to the Economic 9. Access to Finance Downturn 10. Exit Strategy 21. Enterprise 55+ 11. Business Continuity 22. Work-related Stress 12. Red Tape: Employment Regulations 23. Public Procurement 13. Sustainability: The WEEE Directive To request a Hot Topic Spotlight, or if you have any enquiries about this research, please email Siobhan Smith at Business Link Surrey, siobhan.smith@businesslinksurrey.co.uk. This Hot Topic Spotlight was prepared for the South East Business Link Providers by Step Ahead Research. The views expressed within it are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Business Link. © Copyright BLS (Surrey) Ltd 2009. The information contained in this paper may be quoted, provided the following is acknowledged as the source: “South East Business Monitor, a quarterly survey of business owners, conducted by the region’s Business Link Providers.” 1
  • 4. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress Work-related Stress Key Messages • This paper is the second Hot Topic Spotlight on work-related stress providing an update on the issue and further information on how employers recognise and manage the issue. • National research by the Health and Safety Executive has suggested that work-related stress resulted in nearly 13.5 million lost working days in 2007/8. A third of employers also report that stress in the workplace is increasing, and the current economic downturn is likely to make things worse; 25% of adults are planning on working longer hours and 12% intend to take on a second job. • Whilst work-related stress is traditionally seen in management as a problem related to absenteeism and staff turnover, ‘presenteeism’, when staff are at work but not working to full capacity because of ill health, may be a much wider problem. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health estimate that the annual costs of presenteeism nationally equate to around £605 for every employee in terms of lost productivity. • Indeed, whilst only 3% of SMEs in the South East consider their business to be suffering from staff absence due to work-related stress, 30% have had an employee report that they are suffering from work-related stress at some point. Some 57% of managers interviewed believe managing stress is an important part of their role, principally because of the effect on staff morale and productivity as well as a ‘moral imperative’. • However, a significant minority of employers could be said to be ‘in denial’ about the extent of work-related stress and, in particular, whether they have any responsibility for the issue. One in five employers in the South East does not feel it is their responsibility to notice if staff are suffering from work-related stress; 13% report that they would not recognise the symptoms. • To some extent this culture of denial could be a result of particularly masculine or ‘macho’ attitudes in business. Managers in majority female owned or managed businesses are both more likely to report that they themselves have experienced work-related stress (65% compared with 54% of male managed businesses) and that they have had employees report stress problems (43% compared with 26%) • Damages arising from work-related stress cases in court can be costly and, since 2005, mental illness due to work-related stress has been covered by the Disability Discrimination Act, requiring employers to make reasonable adjustments to jobs and the workplace. Yet, 45% of employers in the South East report that they are unaware of these obligations (and 3% or 12,000 employers are not aware of the Disability Discrimination Act itself. • Encouragingly, just over half of the employers (52%) surveyed in the Business Monitor report that they have undertaken at least one activity to manage stress in the workplace; the most common are having an open door management policy, encouraging flexible working practices and having regular appraisals and workload reviews. • However, 50% of employers report that if they had an employee suffering from work-related stress they would not know where to turn for advice or support. Over a quarter (28%) feel that they need to know more about mental illness and wellbeing in this context. • Those who do have an idea where they would go for support are most likely to turn to their company HR officer or department for advice and support in the first instance and then to medical organisations (GPs, private medical firms and local NHS organisations). For micro- businesses (2-10 employees), where employers are less likely to have dedicated HR resources, Business Link is also an important first port of call (for 31% of employers). • This suggests there is a significant need for Business Link and its partners to further promote both personal support and information services in this area. 2
  • 5. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress What is work-related stress? The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) define work-related stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them.” 1 Over 400,000 people in Great Britain believe that they suffer from work-related stress at such a level that it makes them ill 2 . This equates to an estimated 2% 3 of all employees in Great Britain. In 2007, 13.6% of respondents to the Psychological Working Conditions Survey said that their job was either very or extremely stressful. Over a third (35%) of respondents had discussed stress with their line manager in the last 12 months 4 . The top three causes of work-related stress are workload, management style and relationships at work 5 . Other significant causes include organisational change, pressure to meet targets and lack of employee support by line managers. Non-manual workers are more likely to cite stress as a cause of long term absence (absence from work lasting four weeks or more) and short term absence (absence from work lasting four weeks or less) than manual workers. Why work-related stress matters Work-related stress costs businesses money and exposes companies to the risk of legal challenges and reputational damage. In 2007/08 an estimated 13.5 million working days were lost due to self-reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety, equal to an average of 0.56 days per worker 6 . Damages arising from work-related stress cases can be costly. Individual cases have included awards or out-of-court settlements of £134,000 against Intel Corporation in 2007, £90,000 against Unison in 2001, £84,000 against Liverpool City Council in 1999, and £175,000 against Northumberland County Council in 1996 7 . Whilst much of the research focuses on absenteeism and job turnover, work-related stress also contributes to ‘presenteeism’, when staff are at work, but not working to full capacity because of ill health 8 . International research indicates that losses in productivity, due to presenteeism may be higher than losses caused by sickness related absence. The annual costs of presenteeism in the UK, due to mental health problems, are estimated to be around £605 per employee 9 , and is also associated with higher accident rates, work place conflict or poor employee relations, higher insurance premiums, damage to reputation, public and investor relations, and problems with recruitment and retention 10 . Work-related stress levels appear to be increasing. A 2008 national survey for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that just under a third of organisations had experienced an increase in work-related stress 11 . The economic downturn also seems likely to increase employee stress levels, with 25% of adults planning to work longer hours and around 12% intending to take on a second job 12 . Research by Bupa found that 40% of people worried about their job security had experienced higher stress levels at work and 1 Health & Safety Executive definition. 2 LFS data used in Stress-related and psychological disorders, Summary, Health & Safety Executive. 3 According to the Annual Business Inquiry, 2007, there were around 26 million employees in Great Britain. 4 Psychosocial Working Conditions in Britain in 2007, Health & Safety Executive. 5 Absence Management, Annual Survey Report 2008, CIPD. 6 LFS data used in Stress-related and psychological disorders, Summary, Health & Safety Executive. 7 Business Mentality - accessed 5 March 2009 8 “Mental Health at Work: Developing the Business Case. Policy Paper 8. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. 9 Mental Health at Work: Developing the Business Case. Policy Paper 8. The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. 10 Building the Business Case for Managing Stress in the Work Place, CIPD. 11 Absence Management, Annual Survey Report 2008, CIPD. 12 National Stress Awareness Day sees Brits plan to work all hours as the credit crunch worsens –accessed 15/01/2009. 3
  • 6. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress almost a quarter were working longer hours to ward off the risk of losing their job. Women were significantly more stressed than men and are feeling more pressured at work 13 . The economic downturn is likely to have an effect on levels of stress as job security becomes more of an issue. How work-related stress affects SMEs in the South East The November 2006 Hot Topic Spotlight on work-related stress in the South East found that 1 in 5 of the region’s firms with 11-249 employees reported that their business suffered from high levels of staff turnover. Nearly half had had staff raise concerns about stress at some time. However, only 22% believed that work-related stress was a cause of absenteeism and just 3% felt it was the main cause. It highlighted that a significant minority of employers could be said to be ‘in denial’ as to the extent of work-related stress and whether they have any responsibility for it. As many as 19% believed that good employees could work under any level of stress and 9% said they would advise employees reporting work-related stress to look for a new job. This report revisits the theme of work-related stress, using new survey data from December 2008, which now includes all SMEs who employ staff (2 to 249 employees), giving an updated and broader view on issues like the impact of work-related stress, how firms recognise it, and how they manage it. The latest Business Link South East Business Monitor suggests that work-related stress is present in many firms, but is only having a limited impact on absence rates. While only 3% 14 of SME employers (irrespective of size and sector) consider their business to be suffering staff absence due to work-related stress, 30% have had an employee report that they are suffering from work-related stress at some point. This means that the impact of stress will need to be managed within the company. There are also indications that firms with a majority female management are more likely to have employees report stress (see Figure 1), which may suggest a more open culture in which issues are raised more freely. Figure 1: Employee reports of stress by management gender Source: Business Link South East Business Monitor (BL SEBM), December 2008. Base = All SMEs with more than one employee. Employees have reported that they are suffering from stress = 253 and employees have not reported that they are suffering from stress = 457. 13 Economic downturn continues to put employee health at risk – accessed 15/01/2009. 14 Work-related Stress questions asked to those with more than one employee. 4
  • 7. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress Managers at majority female managed businesses are also more likely to have suffered from work-related stress themselves than majority male managed businesses (65% compared with 54%), which reflects the findings of the 2008 national survey for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Business attitudes to work-related stress South East SMEs tend not to see work-related stress as an acceptable reason for being absent from work. Around 40% (or 155,900 employers 15 ) do not believe that stress is a legitimate reason for taking time off work, a view that appears to be consistently held across businesses of all types and sector. However, around 57% of employers, with little variation by sector, believe that managing stress is an important part of their role, whilst one in five (19%) do not. Managing stress is believed to be important for a number of reasons (see Figure 2 below), most notably because of its impact on morale, it being viewed as the right way to behave towards people, its impact on productivity and a sense of it being the company’s responsibility for staff well being. Figure 2: Why managing stress is an important part of an employer’s job Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Bases: SMEs with more than one employee who feel managing stress is an important part of their role = 543, all SMEs with more than one employee = 933. Some employers take a dim view of staff “bringing their problems to work”. Over a quarter (26% or 101,500 employers) do not consider stress caused outside of work to be their problem. These businesses may benefit from a more considerate approach given that national survey evidence suggests that non-work problems can have a significant impact on performance 16 . Many South East employers do however take a more favourable attitude to potential employees who have experienced stress for reasons not connected directly with work. More than a quarter (28%) of employers would be confident in recruiting someone whose work history included absence due to stress or depression caused by a life event (e.g. 15 Based on Annual Business Inquiry 2007 figures, NOMIS website, SMEs = 1 – 299 employees. The ABI does not include the self-employed. 16 Building the Business Case for Managing Stress in the Work Place, CIPD. 5
  • 8. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress bereavement). This may be because stress associated with “life events” is more readily understood than work-related stress. However, only 16% of SMEs would feel confident recruiting someone whose work history included absence due to work related stress. Over half (53%) of respondents to the Business Link South East Business Monitor have themselves experienced work-related stress, which appears to make them more sympathetic, supportive and involved with employees affected by stress (see Figure 3). Figure 3: Views of employers who have/haven’t experienced work-related stress themselves Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base = All SMEs with more than one employee . Employer has experienced WRS = 479 and employer has never experienced WRS = 290. WRS = Work-related stress. We also looked at the differences between those who have experienced stress themselves and those who haven’t in terms of their attitudes towards recruitment. Perhaps surprisingly managers who have experienced work-related stress themselves are less confident about recruiting someone who has had a similar experience than those who have not experienced it themselves (16% compared with 26%). Stress related absence caused by a life event appears to be less of a recruitment issue for all managers (see Figure 4). Figure 4: Confidence in recruiting, by personal experience of stress Would feel confident recruiting someone with a work history that included: Absence due to Absence due to stress WRS caused by a life event Employer has experienced WRS 16 32 Employer has not experienced WRS 26 31 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base = All SMEs with more than one employee . Employer has experienced WRS = 479 and employer has never experienced WRS = 290. WRS = Work-related stress. Recognising work-related stress The majority (81%) of South East SMEs believe that they would recognise the symptoms if an employee was suffering from work-related stress, but 13% (around 48,300 employers) do not. Further analysis suggests that those who take greater ownership of employee stress issues are more likely to recognise it and provide staff with support. 6
  • 9. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress There seems to be a link between attitude and level of knowledge about stress; 80% believe that it is their responsibility to notice or identify employees suffering from stress. These same employers are also more likely to believe that they would recognise the symptoms of stress in an employee (87% compared with 63% of those who do not consider it their responsibility). Around 84% feel that it is their responsibility to support employees suffering from stress. These employers are also more likely to believe that they would recognise if an employee was stressed (90% compared with 60% of employers who do not believe that it is their responsibly to support a stressed employee). Those who have experienced work-related stress are no more likely to recognise the symptoms of work-related stress than those who haven’t experienced stress themselves. Nearly three quarters (72%) of employers who have experienced stress do not have a have a company policy. This differs by size with micro-businesses being much less likely to have a stress policy than small or medium sized businesses (19% compared with 46% and 64% respectively). However the majority of all businesses believe that it is their responsibility to notice or identify and support those suffering from stress (81% and 84%). National evidence suggests a role for more formal approaches to recognising stress, the most popular methods to identify work-related stress being staff surveys, training for managers/staff and risk assessments or stress audits 17 . Managing work-related stress The Business Link South East Business Monitor suggests that over half (52%) of employers do something to manage the risk of stress in the workplace and support the health and wellbeing of their staff. The most common activities include; an open door policy, encouraging flexible working practices, and regular appraisals or workload reviews (see Figure 5). Figure 5: Activities to manage work-related stress in the workplace Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Bases: SMEs with more than one employee and taking action = 498, all SMEs with more than one employee = 933. The Health and Safety Executive have Management Standards for work related stress, which define the characteristics, or culture, of an organisation where the risks from work related stress are being effectively managed and controlled. The Standards cover 6 areas of work 17 Absence Management, Annual Survey Report 2008, CIPD. 7
  • 10. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress design that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and wellbeing, lower productivity and increased sickness absence: 1. Demands (e.g. workload) 2. Control (over the way work is done) 3. Support (e.g. encouragement and resources) 4. Relationships (e.g. avoiding conflict) 5. Role (e.g. ensuring understanding of roles) 6. Change (how this is managed and communicated) 18 Only around a quarter (23%) of employers, have a company policy for dealing with stress in the workplace although appropriate management of work-related stress can also contribute to companies’ effective discharging of their legal obligations. Mental illnesses, for example, are now recognised as a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act, where an illness has a long term and adverse effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities 19 . The Business Link South East Business Monitor found that 47% (or 181,400 employers) of employers are aware of their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act regarding stress in the workplace (details of the Act can be seen in Figure 6 below). However, 45% (or 174,600 employers) are not aware of these obligations and 3% (or 12,000 employers) are not aware of the Disability Discrimination Act itself. This suggests that as many as 186,000 companies run the risk of legal action if work-related stress is not managed appropriately. Figure 6: The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 In 2005 a new provision was added to the Disability Discrimination Act which removed the requirement that a mental illness had to be “clinically well recognised” before it could be counted as an impairment. Under the Act it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against a job applicant or employee who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. To ensure that disabled people have equal access to employment, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to jobs and the workplace. These may include: • Adjustments to the workplace to improve access and/or layout • Giving some of the disabled persons duties to another person • Changing working hours e.g. flexitime • Allowing time off for treatment, assessment, rehabilitation • Modifying instructions or procedures. It is also unlawful for a disabled person to be treated less favourably than a non-disabled person whose relevant circumstances are the same or not materially different (direct discrimination) or treated less fairly for a disability related reason which cannot be justified (disability related discrimination). Sources: Department for Work and Pensions website and Health & Safety Executive website As mentioned previously, only 16% of South East SMEs would be confident in recruiting someone whose work history included absence due to work-related stress. Employers who are not aware of their obligations under the Act are more likely not to be confident about hiring someone whose work history included absence due to work-related stress. This may suggest that greater awareness of legal obligations could also lead to more businesses making more appropriate recruitment decisions. Over a quarter (28%) of employers report that they need to know more about work-related stress and mental illness. Furthermore, 50% of employers report that if an employee was suffering from work-related stress, they would not know where to go for advice. Of those who do have some idea where they would go for advice, most are likely to draw on the support of their HR staff, GPs, private medical companies, the NHS and family or friends (see Figure 7). 18 Health & Safety Executive website accessed 27/03/09. 19 Disability Discrimination Act 2005. 8
  • 11. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress Figure 7: Likely sources of support – by business size Micro- Small- Medium Businesses Businesses Businesses Company HR officer or department 41 77 96 NHS Direct 47 37 33 Private Medical company 27 33 57 Local NHS organisation 56 38 33 Workplace Health Connect 16 23 29 Business Link 31 20 14 A local GP practice 65 43 52 Other business owners/managers 27 31 32 Friends/family 50 38 23 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee and who know where they would seek advice. Unweighted base: Micro-businesses = 199, Small businesses = 170 and Medium businesses = 102.  Whilst small and medium businesses are most likely to consult internal HR departments and/or officers, this is less likely to be an option for micro-businesses who are more likely to go to health professionals for advice (particularly in the NHS), friends and family and/or to Business Link (31% of micro-businesses with an idea where they would go for support). Conclusions Employers’ lack of knowledge about work-related stress, mental wellbeing and illness suggests that there is a significant need to promote and signpost support in this area more effectively, including: • The MINDFUL EMPLOYER initiative, which aims to increase the knowledge of mental health problems relating to employment and also provides support to businesses with regard to recruiting and retaining staff 20 . • The Business Link website, which offers information for employers on work-related stress including a guide on how to deal with stress. The guide looks at a number of areas including common causes of stress, identifying signs of stress in employees and stress management training & counselling. Stress audits are encouraged in order to identify whether or not stress is an issue for a business 21 . • The Health & Safety Executive Management Standards for work-related stress, which aim to help tackle stress in the workplace and also set out advice on how to prevent work-related stress by undertaking a risk assessment. The Standards were recently updated and now include “soft skills” such as Emotional Intelligence and the ability to benchmark against data drawn from private and public sector organisations or the current data from the 2004 Psychosocial Working Conditions (PWC) survey 22 . • The CIPD guide, ‘Building the Business Case for Managing Stress in the Workplace’, which sets out some positive management behaviours that can help to prevent work- related stress. This includes information on the impact of stress on employees and the organisation, advice on how to persuade your organisation take action and legal action that can be taken by employees with regard to constructive dismissal, disability discrimination and bullying and harassment. 20 www.kentmindfulemployer.net 21 How to deal with stress - Business Link website – accessed 14/01/2009. 22 HSE Stress Management Standards – accessed 14/01/2009 and 27/03/09. 9
  • 12. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress Annex: Statistics This Annex sets out figures which provide more detailed analysis relating to Work-related Stress, based on the Business Link South East Business Monitor. Please note the small sample size in some cases – these figures should be treated with caution. Figure A1: Stress is a legitimate reason for taking time off work (%) South Kent & East Berkshire Hampshire Medway MKOB Surrey Sussex Agree 31 25 31 42 29 29 27 Disagree 40 47 43 33 39 39 40 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. South East = 933, Berkshire = 152, Hampshire & IoW = 167, Kent & Medway = 154, MKOB = 165, Surrey = 155 and Sussex = 144. MKOB = Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire. Figure A2: None of my employees have ever reported they are suffering from stress (%) South Kent & East Berkshire Hampshire Medway MKOB Surrey Sussex Agree 54 46 55 53 54 67 49 Disagree 30 33 31 33 28 20 35 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. South East = 933, Berkshire = 152, Hampshire & IoW = 167, Kent & Medway = 154, MKOB = 165, Surrey = 155 and Sussex = 144. MKOB = Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire. Figure A3: Stress caused outside work is not our problem (%) South Kent & East Berkshire Hampshire Medway MKOB Surrey Sussex Agree 26 31 21 22 24 38 25 Disagree 43 37 51 43 46 33 44 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. South East = 933, Berkshire = 152, Hampshire & IoW = 167, Kent & Medway = 154, MKOB = 165, Surrey = 155 and Sussex = 144. MKOB = Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire. Figure A4: I have never experienced work related stress myself (%) South Kent & East Berkshire Hampshire Medway MKOB Surrey Sussex Agree 29 27 23 31 24 37 33 Disagree 53 52 59 55 55 47 48 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. South East = 933, Berkshire = 152, Hampshire & IoW = 167, Kent & Medway = 154, MKOB = 165, Surrey = 155 and Sussex = 144. MKOB = Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire. Figure A5: Managing stress in the workplace is an important part of my role (%) South Kent & East Berkshire Hampshire Medway MKOB Surrey Sussex Agree 57 48 65 59 58 50 57 Disagree 19 26 17 20 18 21 12 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. South East = 933, Berkshire = 152, Hampshire & IoW = 167, Kent & Medway = 154, MKOB = 165, Surrey = 155 and Sussex = 144. MKOB = Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire. 10
  • 13. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress Figure A6: Employee reports of stress – broad industry Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. Manufacturing = 152, construction = 113, retail, tourism & other = 302, business & financial services = 240 and transport, storage & communication = 77. Figure A7: Experience of stress – dominant management gender Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. Majority female managed business = 110, majority male managed businesses = 628 and management genders equal = 175. 11
  • 14. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress Figure A8: Recognising symptoms of work-related stress – Broad industry Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee .Manufacturing = 152, construction = 113, retail, tourism & other = 302, business & financial services = 240 and transport, storage & communication = 77. Land based industries excluded due to small sample size. WRS = work-related stress. Figure A9: Sources of help and support – area (%) South Hants & Kent & Berks MKOB Surrey Sussex East IoW Medway Local GP practice 61 70 48 67 60 65 62 Local NHS 52 68 51 51 45 57 45 organisation Company HR officer or 51 40 54 47 50 55 56 department Friends/family 46 46 48 36 56 45 46 NHS Direct 45 58 41 49 45 47 34 Private medical 30 30 28 40 34 24 21 company Other business 28 20 21 25 34 35 36 owners/managers Business Link 28 27 43 27 23 24 18 Workplace Health 18 27 10 10 15 31 25 Connect* Another Source 15 12 16 17 16 6 18 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee and who know where they would seek advice. Berks = 69, Hants & IoW = 85, Kent & Medway = 87, MKOB = 84, Surrey = 70 and Sussex = 76 .* The Workplace Health Connect Pilot finished on 21 February 2008 in Surrey. 12
  • 15. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress Figure A10: Managing work-related stress in the workplace – management gender Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. Majority female managed business = 110, majority male managed business = 628 and management genders equal = 175. WRS = work-related stress. Figure A11: Preventative Action taken – broad industry (%) communication All businesses Retail, tourism Manufacturing Construction Business & Transport, storage & financial services & other   Open door management policy 37 29 43 40 32 40 Encourage flexible working practices 36 19 41 36 29 36 Regular appraisals or workload reviews 33 25 35 35 26 33 Encourage sport, exercise or healthy eating 18 14 25 29 30 25 Peer mentoring or buddy schemes 16 14 14 18 13 16 Employee groups or committees to improve 20 11 10 10 11 11 working environment Confidential phone line or externally provided support 14 6 11 6 5 9 for employees Union or professional body membership 4 4 5 7 3 5 Other - 2 3 - - 1 Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. Manufacturing = 152, construction = 113, retail, tourism & other = 302, business & financial services = 240 and transport, storage & communications = 77. Land based excluded due to small sample size. 13
  • 16. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress Figure A12: Have a company policy for dealing with stress – business size Source: BL SEBM, December 2008. Base: All SMEs with more than 1 employee. Micro-businesses = 529, small businesses = 271 and medium businesses = 133. Includes don’t know responses. 14
  • 17. Hot Topic Spotlight 22: Work-related Stress The Business Link service is available locally and provides the information, advice and support you need to start, maintain and to grow a business. For more information call: 0845 600 9 006 or visit: www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast SEBL/HTSMarch 2009 15