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March 4, 2011

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Workplace stress is worsening, unions warn

Stress levels in the workplace have deteriorated in the last year, according to a new survey by the Trade Union Coordinating Group (TUCG).

In advance of this week’s campaign action on health and safety, the TUCG, which brings together ten national unions, surveyed workers to find out which out of a number of stress indicators were being felt by workers, whether it was felt that these factors had aggravated over the last year, and whether these factors were causing stress.

The poll, which was carried out by Electoral Reform Research, surveyed more than 750 working adults and found that more than one in four workers are more stressed now than a year ago.

About 20 per cent of workers report having to work harder as a result of job cuts in their workplace, with one in seven in fear of losing their jobs.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of TUCG member, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, said: “This survey reveals the rising levels of stress and insecurity in the workplace. With government plans for further cuts to jobs, pensions and pay on the horizon, this situation is only going to deteriorate in the next 12 months.”

Bob Crow, general secretary of co-union member, the RMT, suggested that a “culture of fear is sweeping through workplaces” with employees threatened with dismissal if they refuse to work longer hours for less money.

He added: “Bullying and harassment is rife and the first thing to take the hit is safe working practices, as the ConDem cuts agenda threatens to turn the tide on gains on worker’s rights and workplace safety that have been secured since the Second World War.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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13 years ago

Stress is one of the factual ill-health conditions that is often dismissed as a fake.

Thing is, that if you have that view about all your employees, then they’re probably all genuine!
Some (not all) employers take advantage of economic conditions to cut back on annual increasesin pay – or stop them altogether. With prices rising it’s not surprising that employees struggling to make ends meet get stressed – add job insecurity and it’s inevitable for some, I know, I was there once!