The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates the costs to society of work-related stress to be around £4 billion each year, while 13.5 million working days were lost to stress in 2007/08.

In policing, we know that approximately 600,000 working days are lost each year to psychological ill-health and that the cost to an average sized police force is up to £8.7m per annum.

By taking action to reduce the problem, you can help create a more productive, healthy workforce and save money. Many organisations have reported improvements in productivity, retention of staff and a reduction in sickness absence after tackling work-related stress.

As an employer, you are also required by law to assess the risk of stress-related ill health arising from work activities and take action to control that risk. Chief Constables and senior leadership teams are in a position to set the organisational tone and introduce management standards in their organisations.

This HSE guidance sets out how their stress management standards can be implemented in practice: