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Help for small firms

Managing staff absence: A step-by-step guide

Managing staff absence - Step 3

Your duty of care

You have a legal responsibility to protect the wellbeing of your employees at work. This duty of care, of course, includes the health and safety laws, but also goes beyond those. It might involve:

  • physical hazards - check employees have enough rest breaks and they know how to operate any machinery properly
  • emotional and psychological pressures - make sure that they are not exposed to some of the causes of stress, such as too much work, too little control themselves over their jobs and poor working relationships
  • promoting awareness of important health issues - such as smoking, healthy diet, exercise, drugs, and mental health
  • using occupational health where it can help employees return to work sooner.

The Health and Safety Executive have identified six main causes of stress at work and devised a series of management standards to try and tackle these stressors.

For more information go to Health and Safety Executive - Work-related stress or see the Acas Advisory booklet - Stress at work.

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