What to do if you are suffering from stress at work
Employee’s guide to workplace stress:
1. Evaluate the situation:
- Review your general lifestyle
- identify factors that you can
change which contribute to your workplace stress levels (eg not taking breaks that
you are entitled to or taking work home with you)
- If you think you are currently experiencing stress-related physical and/or mental
ill health, talk to your GP or other health professional about getting further treatment
- It may also be advisable to check your employer’s policies relating to stress and
ill health, as your employer may provide further support (eg via a helpline)
- Keep a diary to identify any triggers of stress this will help
you deal with them
- If you feel that you are being bullied or harassed at work it
can also be important to write down details of every incident and keep copies of
any relevant documents, as these may be useful if you decide to file a grievance
or take legal action in the future
- If you are suffering from stress as a result of difficulties making childcare arrangements
and you have a child under the age of 6 (or a disabled child under the age of 18) you could be entitled to flexible working arrangements
- Review your employer’s policies and consider making a request for
- If you experience offensive or intimidating behaviour at work which aims to humiliate,
undermine or injure you, it may be useful to check your employer’s policy on bullying
Your employer may have a ‘harassment adviser’ trained to help with
bullying and harassment problems, who may be able to help you
- If you feel that you are being discriminated against or victimised in that you are
being treated differently and less favourably than others, or you are disadvantaged
compared to other groups of people who, eg are not of the same gender
or religion as you - check any relevant equal opportunities policies
of your employer
2. Make a decision:
Following your evaluation, make a decision as to what is causing you to be stressed
and what you feel would resolve the situation.
3. Act on your decision:
If you think you are suffering from work-related stress and/or ill health you must
notify your employer as soon as possible in order to make sure that you get as much
support as possible, and protect your legal position if you decide to take further
action in the future.
If possible, arrange an informal meeting with your employer so that you can dedicate
some time to finding a solution to your problem.
It may be useful to:
- make notes of what you want to cover in the meeting, and
- ask for the meeting to have recorded minutes
A list of possible topics that you want to try to agree with your employer
- A definition of what the problem is
- Identify what has caused the problem
- A plan to tackle the cause(s) of the problem
- Assess whether anyone else is experiencing similar problems, and if a broader organisational
intervention is therefore required (eg through your trade union)
4. Raise a Grievance:
If your employer is unable or unwilling to deal with the cause of your stress to
your satisfaction on an informal basis, you can submit a grievance in writing to
Once your employer has received your grievance:
- your employer should
consider your grievance and invite you to a meeting to discuss your grievance
can usually ask to be accompanied at this meeting by a trusted colleague or trade
- After the meeting, your employer should inform you of their
If you do not agree with their decision, you can usually make an appeal.
5. Taking legal action:
You may consider taking legal action if you have exhausted all other options. There
are many different courses of action you may choose, depending on your situation eg.
- you may wish to consider resigning from your job, and/or
- issuing a claim
for the injury you have suffered in a court or tribunal
If you want to consider taking further legal action you should get detailed legal
advice relevant to your situation.
It is important to remember that tribunals
and courts have strict time limits for issuing claims, which may mean that you have
as little as 3 months to issue a claim.
Are you a suffering from stress at work?
Contact us now to discuss how we can help you make a claim against your employer
for workplace stress by completing our, no obligation,
online enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly
on freephone: 0808 129 3320.