The first Wednesday of November is Stress Awareness Day. Stress at work can come from a variety of factors, with the most common being workload, management and work-life balance. So what regulations protect workers from stress, and what are employers' legal duties? 
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 
This gives employers a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees, as far as is reasonably possible. 
Working Time Regulations 1998 
This sets a maximum length of 8 hours for night shifts and 48 hours in a working week. Employees must have a 20-minute break when working six hours or more, a minimum rest period of 11 hours between shifts and a day off every week, and holiday leave. Employees are also entitled to a minimum of 4 weeks paid annual leave. 
Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 
This requires employers to assess risks to their employees and put controls in place to avoid or reduce these risks where possible. Employers with 5 or more staff must keep a written record of this assessment and plan. 
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Race Relations act 1976 
These acts make it possible to hold employers liable for stress caused by sexual or racial harassment by its employee.  
We can provide employers with a complete set of policies to help you meet your obligations.  
If you are an employee and feel that your employer is not meeting their obligations, get in touch for advice.  
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Harborne, Birmingham, B17 0DH 
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