Week Commencing 01/04/2024 – In The News

April is Stress Awareness Month: tackle stress in the workplace with five steps in five weeks

This April, Britain’s bosses are being invited to follow five simple steps to prevent and reduce stress in their workplace.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Working Minds campaign has called on employers to support workers mental health during Stress Awareness Month.

Liz Goodwill, head of the work-related stress and mental health policy team at HSE, said: “We are inviting business owners, employers and managers to join others across Britain to make a difference during Stress Awareness Month in five steps.”

Over the course of the month, employers are encouraged to focus on one of the campaign’s 5 Rs for each of the five weeks. They are: to Reach out and have conversations, Recognise the signs and causes of stress, Respond to any risks you’ve identified, Reflect on actions you’ve agreed and taken, and make it Routine.

Preventing work-related stress isn’t just the right thing to do by workers, it’s the law. All employers are required to prevent work related stress to support good mental health in the workplace.

The Working Minds campaign brings together a range of tools and support to help businesses and workers including free online learning, Talking Toolkits, risk assessment templates and examples.

Read more on the HSE website.

Safe breaks: How to protect workers when they’re not working

In today’s fast-paced work environments, the health and wellbeing of employees goes beyond the tasks they perform during their working day. Dakota Murphey explores strategies for the physical safety, comfort and mental health of employees during their ‘at leisure’ time at work.

Whatever workplace they are in, prioritising their safety extends to their breaks and during any time an employee is physically at work. While they may not be sitting at a desk, at their usual work station or actively operating a machine, they still remain under the company’s jurisdiction.

If they are working out in an office gym, taking some time out to meditate or read in a quiet space, an employer must create and sustain a safe company culture.

Learn about how safe breaks can be implemented on the SHP website.

New data highlights toxic workplaces

New research from Mental Health First Aid England, released to mark My Whole Self Day on 12 March 2024, reveals almost 1 in 3 employees (31%) have experienced at least one form of microaggression or discriminatory behaviour from their manager in the past six months.

My Whole Self is the campaign for workplace culture change, led by MHFA England. The social enterprise is calling on employers to create cultures where people feel safe to bring their whole self to work to drive improvements in mental health and performance. This research shows there’s a long way to go.

The findings, among 2,000 employees, show the most common negative comments or assumptions managers have made, in the past six months, relate to people’s age, working patterns, personal life, and physical or mental health. Misspelling or mispronouncing people’s names also make the top five.

More broadly, the most cited exclusionary behaviours employees experience from management includes ‘not getting credit for work done, ‘favouritism of other employees’, and ‘sarcasm’. Overall, almost half of employees (48%) have experienced one or more forms of discriminatory or exclusionary acts from their manager in the past six months.

For more on the research, visit the HSM website.

Tributes paid to Gogglebox star after fall death

Tributes have been paid to reality TV personality George Gilbey, who has died after suffering a fall at work. Essex Police said it was called to a road in Shoebury, near Southend-on-Sea, on Wednesday, after reports that a man working at height had fallen. The 40-year-old, a self-employed electrician, died at the scene.

Gilbey starred in eight series of Channel 4’s Gogglebox and also appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in 2014.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Essex Police are investigating the incident.

C4 Gogglebox wrote on its official X account, external: “George was part of the Gogglebox family for eight series alongside his mum Linda and step-dad Pete.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Linda, and George’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

His stepfather Peter McGarry died in 2021, aged 71.

Gilbey worked as an electrician, according to LinkedIn, and ran his own company, WindG Ltd, in Clacton.

Learn more on the BBC website.

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