Employers Legal Obligations
Organisations need to do their part to build a resilient workforce. However, it requires a commitment from the top and needs to be part of an organisations broader mental health strategy.
Every employer has a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable in order to achieve this. This means ensuring employees and others are protected from harm and that risks arising in the workplace are effectively controlled.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires suitable and sufficient risk assessments to be undertaken of significant risks identified in the workplace. Employers must also provide employees with information about the risks in their workplace as well as training on how to deal with them.
To identify and manage the risks arising from stress in the workplace, individual and organisational stress risk assessments are required to meet these obligations. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have a recommended approach to identify and manage stressors in the workplace (the Management Standards), which benchmarks results against other organisations made up of private sector, SME’s and public sector organisations.
Having adopted the HSE Management Standards approach in Knowsley, it has been determined that they are no longer the best fit for our organisation and an alternative tool (MHAPS) has been developed to encompass mental health and stress related issues. By recruiting other public sector organisations to adopt the same approach, we will be able to benchmark results and work collaboratively with organisations similar to our own to improve standards and working conditions and to achieve statutory compliance.