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Who is responsible for tackling work related stress in the organisation?

Board directors/CEOs

It is important that individuals across the organisation see that their Directors/CEO believe in this issue; without their commitment, it is unlikely that measures to tackle this problem will be effective. The Directors’ roles and responsibilities include:

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Health and safety managers

Health and Safety managers are central to processes to prevent and manage stress. They are key to ensuring that the risk of work related stress is properly identified and managed. They will need to work with their HR department in tackling this issue. Depending on how the organisation divides responsibilities, different tasks may be more the Health and Safety manager’s responsibility or the HR manager’s responsibility. Health and Safety Managers’ roles and responsibilities include:

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Human resources managers

Human Resources managers are central to processes to prevent and manage stress. They are key to ensuring that policies and procedures are developed and implemented. They need to work with the Health and Safety department in tackling stress, and, depending on how the organisation divides responsibilities, different tasks may be the HR manager’s responsibility or the Health and Safety manager's responsibility. HR managers’ roles and responsibilities include:

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Line managers

Line managers are crucial to the successful prevention and management of work related stress within their team. They tend to be the first port of call when there is a problem and they are in an ideal position to be able to identify and manage stress. But the way they behave can also be part of the problem; if a manager has the appropriate skills they are better able to deal with stress within the team. Line managers’ roles and responsibilities include:

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Employees

Employees have a responsibility to raise concerns and tell their manager or representative about possible problems and sources of stress. If the organisation is not aware of a problem it can be difficult for action to be taken. Employees' roles and responsibilities include:

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Trade unions representatives

Trade unions are key to ensuring that an organisation engages with staff over stress and uses staff suggestions in developing its solutions. Trade Union representatives may be the first port of call for staff experiencing problems, particularly if the line management chain is part of the problem. Trade Union Representatives’ roles and responsibilities include:

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Occupational health services

Occupational Health Providers have a particular role in working with individuals who are experiencing work related stress and helping them remain at work or return to work successfully. However, they also have a role in supporting the organisation by providing access to information to help identify particular problems or trends that may need to be addressed. Occupational Health Provider's roles and responsibilities include:

Updated 2011-01-04