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Does Your Business Need a Stress and Wellbeing Policy?

By David Baynton, Partner & Head of Employment, Bristol and Lydia Cammiade, Associate, Bristol – Ince Metcalfes.

The increasing awareness around mental health and wellbeing brings with it a better understanding for employers of the impact of stress in the workplace and the drive to increase the support for employees’ mental health.

The World Health Organisation defines stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them”. Workplace stress can be caused and exacerbated by particular roles or tasks, lack of support, or difficulties with managers and colleagues. This can lead to ill-health, as the CIPD Absence Management Survey 2016 found that stress and mental health were amongst the most common causes of long-term absence from work.

What are the benefits of promoting positive mental health?

The benefits of promoting positive mental health are vast; communication, productivity and retention of staff are all likely to improve in a workplace where mental wellbeing is promoted and the stigma around mental health is challenged.

What is a stress and wellbeing policy and why is it important for your organisation?

A stress and wellbeing policy allows employers to demonstrate their commitment to mental wellbeing and promote the mental health of staff.

The document will act as an important resource for all staff as it should set out how the organisation will identify and eliminate sources of work-related stress and provide information on the support available to employees to promote mental wellbeing.

What can you include in your stress and wellbeing policy?

  • Appointment of mental health champions to raise awareness and challenge the stigma around mental health issues;
  • Information about how the employer seeks to improve the physical environment and management structure for the benefit of employee wellbeing;
  • Access to confidential advice or counselling services;
  • Provision for monitoring employee mental health and wellbeing, through line managers or staff surveys; and
  • A mechanism for workloads, responsibilities and working hours to be reviewed where appropriate.

How can our Employment team help?

If you’re looking to create a Stress and Wellbeing Policy for your organisation, our Employment team are here to help. For more information and advice, please contact a member of the team:

Email David Baynton at, or Lydia Cammiade at

The information above is not and should not be taken to be legal advice. You should not take action or omit to take action based on this information.

If you require any help on the issues raised above, please get in touch using the details above.


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