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"Why are employers passing the buck to doctors?"

Finsec media release

Thursday, March 25, 2004

"Why are employers passing the buck to doctors?"

"From this morning's Morning Report interview with Paul Jarvie of the EMA it is clear that employers are still deeply confused about the issue of work place stress," said Matthew Fitzsimons, National Organiser for the bank and insurance workers' union Finsec.

"Paul Jarvie seems to believe that doctors are not only responsible for diagnosing their patients, but also for diagnosing the problems of the workplace.

"Unions are happy to help employers with this problem. It's not something doctors can do for them.

"If employers were serious about tackling workplace stress they are in a perfect position to find the answers. Finsec constantly feeds back to the employers in the finance sector the causes of workplace stress. These are:

* performance management systems that force people into many hours of unpaid overtime,

* understaffing, a lack of proper job training,

* a failure to provide relief staff when people are ill, and

* intensification of work.

"We have much evidence to doubt that employers are pro-active about removing the causes of workplace stress. As well as doing nothing about the above causes of stress, harassment and workplace bullying are further potential causes, in which managers and supervisors are over-represented. Senior managers are often reluctant to tackle this issue and 'take on' these bullying managers.

"We hope that OSH is not fooled by the attempt by this employer's advocate to pass the buck for work place stress on to doctors."


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