My advice to workers is that if you are suffering stress in the workplace, the first step is to put your hand up and TALK TO YOUR EMPLOYER!
Sadly, in the past, this has not always produced the best result. It has not seemed to matter how stressed everyone else in this workplace is, or that there are obvious workplace factors contributing to it. Many employers react badly and at times, we have seen the issue of stress being turned into negative ‘performance management’ … and before we know what is happening, there is an Unfair Dismissal claim, or a psychological injury at work with the question of when it all started very unclear and often the employer alleging the psychological injury pre-dated the employment!
One of my favourite aspects of the new Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work Code of Practice 2022 (which comes into force on 1 April 2023) is that this Code makes it clear to employers that once alerted to the issue of stress, they CANNOT ignore it, but must consult constructively, conduct a risk assessment of their workplace to identify hazards and implement control measures accordingly.
There is now plenty of guidance for employers available: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/laws-and-compliance/codes-of-practice/managing-the-risk-of-psychosocial-hazards-at-work-code-of-practice-2022
The ‘dirty fish bowl analogy’ applies again – it doesn’t matter how unhealthy the environment is, even the most healthy fish will not survive; first step is to clean the fish bowl!
#Code of Practice #workers rights #psychosocialhazardsatwork #stressatwork