Stress places immense demands on employees' physical and mental health and well-being, impacting their behaviour, performance and relationships with colleagues. It's a major cause of long-term absence from work, and knowing how to manage the many different signs of stress is key to managing people effectively. Employers should conduct risk assessments and manage workplace activities to reduce the likelihood of stress developing.

This factsheet defines stress and draws the distinction between stress and pressure. It offers information on UK employers' duties under health and safety law and concludes with guidance on how to deal with stress at work, providing information on prevention, early intervention and stress policies.

CIPD viewpoint

What is work-related stress?

The legal position

Dealing with stress at work

Useful contacts and further reading

This factsheet was last updated by Lisa Ayling, solicitor and employment law specialist, and by Ben Wilmott.

Ben Willmott

Ben Willmott: Head of Public Policy

Ben leads the CIPD’s Public Policy team, which works to inform and shape debate, government policy and legislation in order to enable higher performance at work and better pathways into work for those seeking employment. His particular research and policy areas of interest include employment relations, employee engagement and well-being, absence and stress management, and leadership and management capability.

Ben joined the CIPD in 2003. He started his career in regional journalism and prior to joining the CIPD was news editor and employment law editor at Personnel Today magazine. He has an LLM in Employment law from Kingston University.


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