Essential points

  • Under an implied term in all employment contracts, organisations have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment, safe systems of work and carry out regular risk assessments for their workforce whether they are at work or working from home.
  • In addition to physical risks, organisations have a legal duty to protect employees from work-related stress and to carry out stress risk assessments.
  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identifies six main causes of stress at work including an inability to cope with a job’s demands, lack of control over how the work is done, lack of appropriate information, and trouble with work relationships.
  • The HSE lists high turnover, increased sickness absence and decreased performance as signs of stress in work teams, and poor punctuality and loss of motivation and confidence, as signs of stress in individuals.
  • Employers should match job demands to workers’ skills and knowledge and provide planning, training and support to reduce workplace stress levels.

CIPD member content

This content is only available for CIPD members


‚ÄčPlease note: While every care has been taken in compiling this content, CIPD cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. These notes are not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice. 

law advice

Want more employment law advice? Members can phone the CIPD legal helpline or take out a discounted subscription to HR-inform for additional resources.

Callout Image

Related content on health and safety

Occupational health

Outlines the kind of occupational health services an organisation might offer and the role of confidentiality and consent in discussing an employee’s health

Health and safety at work

Outlines employers’ health and safety obligations in the UK

Case studies
Supporting employee financial wellbeing: Leek Building Society

Supporting financial wellbeing through pay and benefits.

Health and Safety resources

Learn more about the UK healthy and safety legislation and the obligations required from employers.

Employment law

Access more employment law resources

Employment law
Religion and belief discrimination: UK employment law

Explore our collection of resources around legal issues relating to religion and belief discrimination in the workplace, including philosophical beliefs

For Members
Employment law
Recruitment: UK employment law

Explore our collection of resources and Q&As covering the recruitment process, from pre-employment checks and case law, to employing overseas workers

For Members
Employment law
Statutory rates and compensation limits: UK employment law

A round up of the year's statutory rates, providing quick and easy access to information on compensation limits, family friendly payments, statutory sick pay, national minimum wage, disclosure and barring fees and National Insurance contribution thresholds

For Members
Employment law
Timetable of recent and forthcoming legislation: UK employment law

Keep up to date with the latest employment law developments and proposed future changes

For Members