Herald Group Taking Stress Seriously

That scourge of the workplace – stress – is being identified by an increasing number of staff at the Herald group of newspapers, says a memo sent from the group’s own human resources department.

And in a move that has to be applauded, a counselling service is being made available to staff to try to deal with the negative impact of stress.

But not every member of staff will be impressed by the initiative, given job cuts taking place taking place at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times, as part of a planned budget cut of between two and three million pounds.

Announcing a switch to a new supplier of ‘occupational health provision’, the memo states: “We know that increasing numbers of our staff have identified that they are suffering from stress. Talking to a counsellor may help to identify where the pressure is coming from in their work. They may find they can improve their coping skills or make relatively small changes in their work to avoid undue pressure.”

The supplier switch means that staff will be issued with details of a 24-hour telephone helpline.

Says one insider: “Stress, which of course, couldn’t possibly be caused by the management’s heavy-handed cost-cutting tactics. They’ve also circulated the news that a member of staff has meningitis and listed the symptoms for anyone concerned they may have picked up the illness.
Headaches and confusion are listed as two tell-tale symptoms. Which doesn’t really help, as they are suffered by every journalist there who is wondering what the hell is going on.”

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