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Work-related stress policy

Last reviewed on 14 May 2018

Here at the Co-op we want to support our colleagues’ wellbeing and we know that work-related stress can affect our mental and physical health and emotional wellbeing.

The purposes of this Policy is to encourage you to talk about work-related stress, to let you know what we can do to support you, and to give you information of where you can go for further help.

Crucial bits

Our commitments

We’re committed to taking all reasonable steps to make sure that your health isn’t put at risk because of too much pressure or excessive demands at work. So we’ll work to ensure that:

  • Your workload is reasonable
  • You don’t need to work excessive hours to get your job done
  • You’re given the training you need to do your job
  • Your manager lets you know what’s going on, especially when things might be changing
  • If you tell us you’re experiencing symptoms of stress, we’ll take this seriously and carry out a stress risk assessment, take actions to reduce the workplace stressors as far as possible and signpost you to other sources of support.
  • We treat any issues of bullying and harassment seriously, as we know this can be a cause of stress – see our Bullying and Harassment/Respect Policy for more information

Telling us

If you’re experiencing stress, we want you to tell us so we can help to do something about it. Stress can happen to anyone, and we know that it can affect people differently. So talk to your manager about things, so they can give you the support you need. You can mention it in your next one-to-one or ask to meet with them just to talk about this. Whatever works for you. We know that stress isn’t always work-related, but we’ll try to support you with things going on outside of work as well.

Stress risk assessment

Your manager will talk to you about what you think is causing your stress and try to make any changes that are needed to your work or working environment to help. They’ll complete a stress risk assessment (found on the intranet), to help you both understand what’s causing the problems and what could help.

They might also ask you if you’re happy to be referred to occupational health. This is so we can get more information about what’s causing your stress and how this is affecting you at work, and what we can do to help. There’s more information about what happens in an occupational health referral in the Occupational Health Colleague FAQs.

Things to think about

Stress and mental health

While stress isn’t actually a medical condition in itself, we know it can be closely linked to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. For more information about Co-op support for colleagues experiencing mental health issues see the Mental Health Policy.

Stress and formal processes

If your stress is a result of issues at work, then dealing with those will help to resolve things for you. If you’re involved in a formal process at work, like a grievance or disciplinary, this can be stressful. But as with most things, getting the matter resolved can help ease any stress. So we’ll try to help by progressing things as quickly as possible, in line with our processes.

Stress outside work

If your stress is a result of issues at work, then dealing with those will help to resolve things for you. But if your stress is being caused, or affected, by things going on outside work, it’ll help to try to sort those out too. Your manager might suggest that you speak to our Employee Assistance Programme, to get some help and advice about family or financial stressors. They may encourage you to go to your GP for support, if you haven’t already.

If you need further support

Remember we have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which can provide colleagues with support. You can contact the EAP on 0800 069 8854. It’s independent and totally confidential. And there’s no charge for Co-op colleagues.

If managers need advice they should contact ER Services.

Other sources of support
MIND - Call: 0300 123 3393

Stress Management Society – gives information about stress and tips on how to cope