Workplace Employer's Main General Duties
The employer may need to do more than is required by the the Particular General Duties and Specific Rules in order to comply with his main general duties which are:
to ensure, so far as is reasonably, practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of his employees; and
to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons NOT in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.
An employer whose staff face risks from stress will need his risk management to go beyond the requirements of the specific rules on workplace health and safety. Where employee stress arises from, say, excessive workloads and tight deadlines, the employer will need to fulfil his particular general duties as regards systems of work. Where the stress arises from such pressure combined with, say, noisy and crowded surroundings, he will need to fulfil his particular general duty as regards working environment.
However, despite meeting his obligations towards employees as regards work systems and working environment, some temporary secretaries from an agency may be under stress due to sexual harassment by certain managers or other employees. In such cases the employer's main general duty towards non-employees requires the stress risk to be managed.