The AGM stress survey was a tiny indication of what we know to be much wider problem for our members working in probation services and family courts, who are suffering from very high levels of stress at work.
Comments from the survey included:
- From a CRC member:
Miserable in the job – bored – not PO work anymore
- From NPS members:
Feeling of being overwhelmed
Most job stress from lack of training and management a team with high sick levels.
Our members are not alone; the TUC’s biennial survey of more than 1,000 health and safety reps around the UK ask them to pick out the hazards at work that most trouble them and their workforces – stress was at the top of the list. With 7 in 10 reps (70%) citing it as a problem – up 3% since the last survey in 2014 when 67% did so, and a higher proportion than in any previous TUC study. Stress is one of the main causes of mental health problems, in particular anxiety and depression. The TUC explain:
- Stress is not a weakness or your fault: it can affect anyone at any time.
- Don’t let the stigma of mental health force you to suffer in silence: but instead talk to someone like your union rep, a friend, your GP or a support service
- Stress-related illnesses caused by work are preventable. Employers have a legal responsibility to reduce or remove anything at work that could make you ill – and that includes workplace stress.
Recording stress at work:
NPS are asking their staff to record incidents of stress in the sickness absence recording system. Please do this as NPS do not record stress separately otherwise.
If you require more information on how to deal with stress at work please see the Napo website – H&S section at https://www.napo.org.uk/health-safety which has useful links or talk to your local H&S Rep.
Stress risk assessments
Please complete individual stress risk assessments. Your line manager should carry out the assessment.
Where specific problems of stress are reported for a team, ask for a team stress risk assessment.