Workplace Stress Policy

Bardsley recognises, and understands, that workplace stress is a health and safety issue that is to be regarded and assessed in the same way as any other workplace hazard.

This Workplace Stress Policy applies to everyone within Bardsley. Managers are responsible for the proper implementation of the Policy, and the Company will always ensure that all the necessary resources are made available to effectively manage workplace stress.

What Is "Work Stress"?

The Health and Safety Executive define stress as, “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”. This definition draws a distinction between ‘pressure’, and a ‘reaction’ that a person may have when experiencing excessive pressure. An acceptable degree of pressure will usually produce positive outcomes and experiences if it is managed correctly by the individual, and the Company. However, when the pressure experienced is excessive, or the pressure is managed ineffectively, stress can be detrimental to both health and wellbeing.

The Policy

Bardsley will carry out Risk Assessments to identify the causes of workplace stress, and will endeavour to eliminate, or control, the risks resulting from the experience of stress;
Risk Assessments will be the subject of regular reviews to confirm their continued relevance;
Bardsley will consult with the Health and Safety Consultation Committee where matters have been brought forward through the committee, and when action is proposed by the Company to instigate measures to address identified causes of workplace stress;
Bardsley will provide the necessary training for all managers and supervisory staff so that they are aware of recommended effective stress management practices;
Bardsley will make available confidential counselling for any of its employees affected by workplace stress, whether it has been caused by work or external factors;
Bardsley will ensure that managers are provided with adequate resources to enable them to implement the Bardsley Workplace Stress Policy.


Managers Managers are expected to;

Implement the requirements of the Bardsley Workplace Stress Policy, and any recommendations that result from Risk Assessments;
Ensure effective and clear communication between management and employees in all relevant matters, and especially when organisational and procedural changes are being implemented;
Ensure that all employees are fully trained and competent to fulfil the duties expected of them;
Ensure that employees are given opportunities where possible and appropriate to develop their roles within the Company;
Monitor the workloads of individuals to ensure that they are not being expected to work beyond a reasonable capacity;
Monitor the working hours of individuals, and ensure that they are not overworking;
Monitor the holidays of individuals to ensure that they are taking their full entitlement;
Attend training in effective stress management practice when it is requested, or required;
Ensure that bullying and harassment is neither practiced nor tolerated within their area of responsibility;
Be vigilant and to offer additional support to employees who may be experiencing unusual levels of stress outside working hours, such as from a bereavement or a separation. Health and Safety/ Human Resources Staff The Health and Safety and Human Resources staff will;
Provide advice and guidance to managers to aid them in implementing and following the Bardsley Workplace Stress Policy;
Keep the Board of Directors of Bardsley, and the Health and Safety Committee, informed and aware of developments in the management of stress in the workplace;
Consult with outside bodies to get specialist advice about stress awareness training;
Advise management and individual employees about relevant stress awareness training, and coordinate the provision of any training thought to be necessary;
Carry out stress Risk Assessments, make recommendations further to the findings of such assessments, and implement measures to combat stress where necessary;
Conduct monitoring to ensure the effectiveness of any measures introduced to better manage the experience of work place stress;
Monitor the effect of stress as a cause of absence from the workplace by recording and collating sickness absence statistics;
Provide support to individual employees who have been absent from the workplace due to stress related sickness, and provide advice to both the employee and relevant managers for a planned return to work. Employees Employees will be expected to;
When experiencing unacceptable levels of workplace stress, raise their concerns with their line supervisor or manager, or the Health and Safety or Human Resources staff if more appropriate;
Accept when they are recommended as appropriate any offers of counselling, training or changes to working practices. The Health and Safety Committee The Health and Safety Committee will;
Monitor the effectiveness of the Bardsley Workplace Stress Policy to ensure its effectiveness in preventing and addressing workplace stress;
Advise the company of any issues resulting from workplace stress brought to its attention by individuals, by management or as a result of its own experience or enquiry that require action in the opinion of the Committee on the part of the company;
Make recommendations and advise the company on amendments to the Bardsley Workplace Stress Policy where the Committee has grounds to demonstrate changes are necessary. Employee Assistance Programme (Acorn Occupational Health Limited) Bardsley has entered into an agreement with Acorn Occupational Health, an external and independent occupational health advisor, to provide a free confidential information, support and counselling service. This service is available to all employees 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year and can be accessed using a free phone number on 0800 083 7400. This number has been assigned specifically to Bardsley. This service is totally confidential and employees do not need to give their names to the advisor. There is no limit on the number or duration of calls, and advisors are able to discuss and assist with a wide range of issues, for example;

  • Organisational and workplace change
  • Managing pressure
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Work life balance

Bereavement/Separation Provision can also be made for face to face counselling if the advisor and the employee decide that this may be helpful. Anything discussed with an Acorn Occupational Health Limited advisor of a personal or confidential nature will be respected as such and not divulged to Bardsley, or any other third party. Should Acorn Occupational Health Limited’s advisor consider, with the agreement and consent of the Bardsley employee, that a workplace stress issue can be improved by liaison with Bardsley, only information discussed with the employee relevant to achieving this objective will be divulged to Bardsley. NHS Stressline The NHS provides a dedicated support line to provide help and advice to people suffering from stress. NHS Stressline callers will receive practical information and advice from trained health advisors. If they are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, they will be directed to a wider package of financial and mental health support. This service is available daily from 8:00am-10:00pm. The number to call is 0300123 2000.

Bardsley is committed to maintaining a working environment that enables all its employees to achieve a reasonable balance between their life at work and their personal life. Such a balance, it is acknowledged, has mutual benefits for the individual, the company and the society as a whole.
The objective of the Bardsley Workplace Stress Policy is to create a working environment that supports employees both at the workplace and in their general wellbeing, and that encourages effective working practices enabling a productive and positive balance between work and life away from work.

This Policy will be reviewed annually, with the first review being no later than 12 months from the date below.
John Thorley Health & Safety Director Date: 12 November 2012

Work Life Balance