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Stress management tool claims it can save businesses millions of pounds


A new online stress management tool Assesswise has been launched this week, which aims to offer businesses an efficient and effective way to measure levels of stress experienced by employees.

It has been calculated that a quarter of a million pounds can be saved for every 1,000 employees if stress in the workplace is managed effectively, reducing the number of lost working hours.

The HSE estimates that stress causes more than a third of sickness absence at work and is the second most reported reason given for workplace absence. A total of 13.8 million working days were lost to work-related stress, depression and anxiety in 2006/07.

Jon Case, chief executive of Birchfield Interactive, which created Assesswise, says the tool has been developed based on current HSE guidelines. It aims to provide a user-friendly online tool for anyone concerned with levels of employee stress, to manage the impact of this growing issue.

“As our personal and professional lives become increasingly busier and fast-paced, it is important for those who manage staff to understand when pressure becomes stress. A certain amount of pressure is acceptable, when it converts to continual stress, then it becomes an issue,” he said.

Anthony Coles, HR consultant, added: “Some companies may think that by looking closely at stress levels within the workplace, they will be potentially opening a can of worms. I strongly believe that if stress is acknowledged and assessed across all employee levels it can significantly improve productivity, staff retention and ultimately the bottom line.”

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999), employers have a duty to assess the risk of stress-related ill health arising from working activities and to take measures to control that risk.

“This modern day malady is affecting large numbers of individuals, and employers have a duty to do what they can to understand and manage stress,” added Jon Case.


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