The most common mistakes employers make when dealing with workplace stress

Stress is one of the biggest problems in the workplace, with the cost to the British economy being estimated at around £4 billion each year due to both long and short-term absence, lower productivity and poor customer service. Recent research shows that one in four employees are in a near-constant state of stress. If employers can reduce stress through effective people management, it will reduce their costs and drive business growth. We consider the most common mistakes employers make when dealing with stress and most importantly how they can be avoided.

Failing to spot and act on early warning signs of stress

Employers need to be clear on the difference between pressure and stress. It is healthy for employees to have challenges to meet and a reasonable amount of pressure can in fact have a beneficial effect in improving performance and job satisfaction. However, too much pressure can be harmful to health and result in stress-related claims.

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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.


Employment law moves at a fast pace. Keeping up to date with changes and developments is a challenge for every HR professional, helps you keep ahead of the game, plan for change and provides tools for solving those workplace dilemmas.


Andrew Chamberlain

Partner - Head of Employment & Chair of the SDE

I am a Partner, the National Head of the Employment Team and the Chair of the Service Delivery Executive (SDE), which is focused on building better solutions for clients.