LRD New Booklet Published – Stress and Mental Health at Work – A Guide for Trade Unions and Working People

LRD New Booklet Published – Stress and Mental Health at Work – A Guide for Trade Unions and Working People:

The Labour Research Department (LRD) have notified the CWU Health Safety & Environment Department that they have published and launched a new ‘essential booklet’ entitled ‘Stress and Mental Health at Work – A Guide For Trade Unions and Working People’, containing important information that will help Union Reps protect members in the workplace.

“Work-related stress and poor mental health risk becoming a health and safety crisis for Great Britain’s workplaces,” the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has warned. LRD say that their new booklet aims to provide Union Reps with information, advice and practical examples of how unions and reps have dealt with work-related stress across a range of industrial and service sectors and in a variety of workplaces. As well as how the Covid pandemic has exacerbated an existing mental health crisis in Britain’s workplaces, and among homeworkers, and union demands to “build back better” mental health at work.

Stress can have a devastating impact on workers’ mental health.  This booklet aims to provide practical advice for Union Reps, activists and workers.

This LRD booklet:

  • Explains what stress is, looking at the different types of stress and explores the extent of work-related stress;
  • Looks at the causes of stress at work and its consequences, both in financial terms and in terms of ill-health for organisations and for workers;
  • Examines how the Covid pandemic has exacerbated an existing mental health crisis in Britain’s workplaces;
  • Outlines the law in this area, looking at how Safety Reps can use health and safety and equality law to tackle problems plus looks at recent case law;
  • Summarises the HSE Stress Management Standards and guidance for both employers and Union Reps on using the standards.
  • Examines the impact of the government’s policies, public spending cuts and cost of living;
  • Examines guidance from other relevant organisations;
  • Looks at Trade Union action to prevent stress, and, examines how unions are taking action to protect workers;
  • Finally, it sets out how employers can provide support for workers suffering from mental ill health.

In the booklets’ introduction section on page 3, reference is made to the TUC Safety Reps survey, in which 2,100 Safety Reps from various Unions contributed. The survey found that:

  • Stress has been far and away the most frequently cited top-five concern by Safety Reps since the surveys began in 1998.
  • The latest Safety Reps’ survey found stress continues to be the most widespread concern cited by 70% of Safety Reps participating in the survey.

The booklet’s introduction on pages 3 and 4 also makes reference to the HSE’s new campaign “Working Minds”, launched in November 2021 which aims to help employers recognise the signs of work-related stress and make tackling it routine. The HSE is calling for a culture change across UK workplaces to ensure that psychosocial risks are treated the same as physical risks in health and safety risk management. (See LTB 495/21).


Reference is made to the Royal Mail Group/CWU Stress Risk Assessment Agreement on pages 47 and 48 of the booklet.

This LRD book is an excellent resource for developing workplace policies, negotiating and representing trade union members, workplace and trade union courses and dealing with personal anxiety, stress and mental health problems at work.

Copies of this new LRD booklet can be ordered at a reduced price for LRD affiliates and a bulk discount rate is also available. Full details are in the attached order form. Orders can be made by post/cheque or on line, by e-mail or over the telephone.  For further information about buying ‘Stress and mental health at work – a guide for trade unions and working people’ – contact Shenaz at LRD on 020 7902 9803 or email at


The Health, Safety and Environment Department would also draw Branches attention to LTB 247/18 ‘UK National Work Stress Network – New Work Stress Guide Handbook’ which is sponsored and recommended to CWU Reps by the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department. 

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB263 LRD New Booklet Published – Stress and Mental Health at Work – A Guide for Trade Unions and Working People


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