Actions to support staff who feel stressed

The Policy for the Prevention and Management of Work-Related Stress sets out the University’s commitment to, and arrangements for, reducing the impact of work-related stress. This includes ensuring appropriate arrangements to support staff who are impacted by work-related stress. Line managers play a key role in this.  

What to do

  • Show concern - first and foremost, demonstrate that you are concerned for the persons health.
  • Support - the University has resources to support colleagues. Check that they are aware of the support available and how to access it. This includes support relating to stressors outside of work such as housing, family and financial issues.
  • Get advice - if work is affected speak to your People Manager and consider making a referral to Occupational Health.  The Employee assistance programme also includes a free management consultancy helpline where you can seek advice.
  • Consider the risks - where WRS is a contributory factor complete an individual stress risk assessment in discussion with the individual. Where someone has been absent from work as a result of work-related stress this should form part of the return-to-work process.
  • Manage the risks - the individual risk assessment process includes considering what actions and/or adjustments could help. Make sure these are implemented/addressed, and if necessary modify work tasks and responsibilities.
  • Encourage appropriate personal responsibility - the University’s policy for the prevention and management of work-related stress recognises the duty of care it has towards its staff and the legal duty it has to identify, assess and respond to occupational causes of stress. It also notes the responsibility every employee has to take reasonable care of their wellbeing and take advantage of opportunities for counselling, training or other relevant activities. The individual stress risk assessment includes a section to discuss individual actions and engagement with wellbeing resources which are applicable whether WRS or not.
  • Follow up - have regular check-ins to check how things are going, whether any adjustments or actions are helping, and continue to demonstrate your support. If work continues to be affected, consider referral to Occupational Health if not already in progress.

Finally, consider whether there could be anything that might be impacting others within the team. It might be that the issues are isolated to one person but equally they might not be. There is further guidance on reducing stress in the workplace which includes a team-level risk assessment template.

If you would like further guidance on progressing a wider piece of work with your team/department, speak to your Strategic People Partner or email