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Management of the Organisation recognises that work-related stress is a Health & Safety issue. It acknowledges that certain aspects of carrying out caring duties can promote stressful circumstances for some staff. The management of stress amongst staff is recognised as a key duty of care within the Organisation’s Risk Assessment programme, and it is Policy that vigilance be maintained to identify the symptoms of stress so that appropriate action can be taken.

This Policy sets out the ways in which work-related stress among staff members is recognised and managed. It addresses the HSE’s expectations for stress management, and the duty of care towards employees under the Management of Health & Safety at

Work Regulations, 1999:



1. STRESS MANAGEMENT STANDARDS:


1.1 We define stress as “the adverse reaction that a person has to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them”.


1.2 Within the overall concept of Risk Assessment there are 6 key Risk Factors which can cause work-related stress. These are as follows:


1. DEMANDS - the demands of the job which will include workload, work patterns, hours of work, the domiciliary working environment, and the dependency and personality of service users being cared for. The OUTCOME to be achieved by management is that staff members indicate that they can cope with the demands of their jobs.


2. CONTROL - the degree of input and influence the person has in the way they do their job. The OUTCOME to be achieved by management is that staff members indicate that they have a say about the way they do their job, and that their input is acknowledged and recognised.


3. SUPPORT - the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the Organisation, management and colleagues. The OUTCOME to be achieved by management is that staff members indicate that they receive positive and adequate support from their managers and colleagues.


4. RELATIONSHIPS - the promotion and encouragement of positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour. The OUTCOME to be achieved by management is that staff members indicate that they are not subject to adverse or otherwise unacceptable behaviour or peer pressure, e.g. workplace bullying, whether physical or psychological.

5. ROLE - the assurance that staff understand their role within the Organisation, and that they do not have any conflicting roles. The OUTCOME to be achieved by management is that staff members indicate that they fully understand their role and job responsibilities.

6. CHANGE - how organisation change (large or small) is managed and communicated within the Organisation. The OUTCOME to be achieved by management is that staff members indicate that they are kept fully informed of any organisational change and the reasons for it.



1.3 Within this framework the Organisation is committed to addressing stress, the reasons for it, and to analyse and determine what needs to be done to reduce work-related stress to a controllable level. This will involve consultation processes with all staff and staff involvements is seen as being vital to the success of this initiative.




2. POLICY IMPLEMENTATION:



2.1 The Domiciliary Care Services Manager will target the following general management information to determine whether or not any adverse or emerging trends are apparent amongst the staff:


  • Staff turnover figures;

  • Sickness absence records;

  • Attitude surveys as may be determined from Staff Questionnaires, reference Form No 2-103.


2.2 Using this information to see how well the Organisation appears to be performing in relation to each of the 6 key Risk Factors.


2.3 Using the Schedules found as Form No 2-103, conduct Risk Assessments designed to eliminate stress or control the risks from stress. The results of these Risk Assessments will be openly discussed with representatives of each level of staff in order to fully agree on action plans to be put into practice.


2.4 Organisational management will provide training for all managers, supervisors and staff in good management practices, and will ensure that training programmes are adequate to enable staff to discharge their duties to a satisfactory standard (for both the Organisation AND the staff member).


2.5 Where individual staff members have been adversely affected by stress, either as a result of workplace pressures or from other external (personal) factors, the Organisation will commit to provide one-on-one confidential counselling. In this respect management and supervisors will remain vigilant and be prepared to offer additional support to a staff member who is experiencing stress outside work; e.g. bereavement or separation.


2.6 Workloads, as reflected in Staff Rotas, will be monitored to ensure that individual staff members are not overloaded.


2.7 Working hours, overtime and holidays will be monitored to ensure that individual staff members are not overworking and are taking their proper holiday entitlement. This is particularly important where a staff member has not elected to opt out of the requirements of The Working Time Regulations, 1998 (see Policy No 1209).


2.8 The Organisation is committed to ensuring the effective communication of information between management and the staff. This is seen as especially important in view of the fact that most staff members are Care Workers who spend most of their time out of the immediate office environment working with clients.


2.9 The Organisation is committed to ensuring that sufficient resources are available and allocated to enable the agreed stress management strategies to be put into practice.




FORMS REFERENCES:

Form No: 2-103 Staff Questionnaire

Form No: 4-103 Risk Assessment - Employee Work-related Stress




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