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HR News Round-Up April 2019

Posted On: 30/04/2019

At the beginning of the year the team here at P3 People Management spoke openly about how April’s HR News Round-up would be full to the brim with Brexit news.  It will come as no surprise, maybe even a relief, that we have nothing concrete to report on the subject as the 29th March became nothing more than a usual working day.  We promise to mention the ‘B’ word only once as we discuss ways to disrupt feelings of stress.

Stress Awareness Month

April is Stress Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of the causes and cures for this modern epidemic.  

Brexit Anxiety is taking its toll on many people as the frustrations it brings are having a damaging impact at individual level.  Following recent research, The Mental Health Foundation has reported that 43% of people feel powerless, 39% feel angry and 38% feel worried.  If we were to assume that this trend exists across the whole of the UK, then that equates to 22 million people’s wellbeing being affected.

De-Stress At Your Desk

According to the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health women who work over 55 hours a week are at higher risk of depression, and both men and women increase this risk if they work weekends [1].

Steve Clarke, a psychotherapist and therapy services manager at the Priory’s Life Works Hospital in Woking, Surrey, says: “In the UK, 12.5 million working days are lost each year due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety and in 2016/17, stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 40% of all work-related ill health cases and 49% of all working days lost due to ill-health.”

Let’s look at eight ways employees can help manage their own stress while sat in front of their screen:

  1. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This involves repetitive finger tapping to release negative emotions. It is likened to a psychological version of acupuncture as you make contact with several acupuncture points by tapping your eyebrows, the side of your eyes, under your eyes, under your nose, your chin, your collarbone, under your arm and the top of your head while performing breathing exercises. 
  1. Guided meditation apps. Download an app such as Headspace which offers different types of meditation sessions.
  1. Progressive muscle relaxation. Tense and release your muscles in certain intervals.
  1. Deep breathing. Take long deep breaths while counting for 5-8 seconds, then hold for 5-8 seconds.
  1. Eat healthily. Choose foods that increase your energy and gives you sustainable nutrients.
  1. Plan your week or day ahead. Create a checklist of things to be completed by priority allowing enough time for each task and don’t forget to plan in your breaks.
  1. Pop in your earbuds. Listening to music can help you relax and focus.
  1. Take a walk. Ideally get out in the fresh air, but if you’re stuck in the office then even a walk to the water station and back can help clear your mind.   

Outsourced Workers And Their Collective Bargaining Powers

Last month the High Court dismissed a case claiming that outsourced workers should be allowed to negotiate their conditions [2].

The relatively new trade union, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) pushed for this ruling only to be met with mixed reactions. 

Collective bargaining is when a union is recognised by an organisation for the purposes of negotiation and consultation. This allows the trade union to negotiate its members’ contracts and other relevant issues with employers of the organisation.  Statutory recognition schemes for unions allow them to bargain on pay, hours and annual leave only.  However, workers are usually in a better position after collective negotiations.

Although the IWGB lost their case, it may still be seen as revolutionary as they brought valuable awareness surrounding the treatment of outsourced workers.   The employee/employer relationship is evolving, and now more than ever organisations must fairly treat all of their staff, no matter what their role or contract.  All individuals should be kept motivated, engaged and their morale and welfare looked after. 

Don’t Let Stress Get In The Way Of Success

This month the CIPD has urged HR teams to help managers tackle stress by unlocking healthy, productive workplaces [3].

The latest Health and Wellbeing at Work Survey has revealed that more and more employers are recognising that they have a crucial part to play in the health and happiness of their employees.

It’s clear that the awareness of stress should not be contained to just one month of the year and we’re delighted to share this information with you as it shows that mental health and wellbeing is starting to get the recognition it deserves.

We’re Here To Help 

If you need our experienced team of HR professionals to help you with any of the issues raised in this month’s News Round-up please call us on 0161 941 2426.

[1] HR News

[2] Personnel Today

[3] CIPD

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