The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”. Stress is a health and safety issue if the stress is work-related. Your employer has a duty to ensure your health and safety at work, including your psychological well-being.
Raise any complaints and concerns regarding stress at work with your manager. Do this as soon as possible and ask for remedial action to be taken. In the interim remember to:
- keep a record of all dates, events and symptoms suffered
- keep a personal record of all working hours including those outside the normal place of work
- ensure a risk assessment has been undertaken and if not, ask for one and ensure one is done immediately
- follow the employer's policy on stress (if available)
- seek medical advice from your GP and Occupational Health and make sure that a clinical diagnosis is given in your medical certificates, rather than a description of the symptoms of stress.
It may be necessary to make a formal complaint in writing if work-related stress continues and this could include the effects of unsustainable pressures in the workplace causing stress. Also, see our advice on accidents and injuries at work and the ACAS guidance on Dealing with stress in the workplace.