Ask Question, Ask an Expert

+1-415-315-9853

info@mywordsolution.com

Ask HR Management Expert

Read the passage below and answer to the problems which follow.
 
WORKPLACE COUNSELLING-An appeal for evidence
 
Mental health problems at work are big news; hardly a week passes without a new report highlighting stress at work or the proportion of absences for psychiatric causes. The numbers involved are  enormous, to the point  that one might be concerned that it was yet another public health issue. Both unions and employers perceived a problem, though it is by no means clear  that they perceive the same problem. It is perhaps not surprising that they tend to advocate different solutions.
 
While occupational factors such as stress have demonstrable health outcomes, workplace stress has also major economic implications. One report has suggested that it cost the UK three billion pound per year—significant  in  relation to the eleven billion pound  that the CBI find outs sickness  absences as a whole costs the economy. Besides sick pay, replacements costs and loss productivity, an increasing proportion of this burden is comprised of compensation pay-outs. The TUC reported that there was a twelve-fold increase in case of stress at work; the value of claims is over three hundred million pound.
 
The Walker case, in which a social worker successfully sued his employers  for psychiatric illness caused by his work, underlined the duty of care that employers have to their employees  and confirmed that harsh financial penalties could  result from failing in this duty of care. This issue received publicity recently with an appeal court ruling which, in redefining those circumstances under which an employee can claim for damages, may curb the number of such cases coming before the courts. In three out of four cases before  them, the judges allowed the appeals, removing almost two hundred pound from claimants who  had originally  been  awarded compensation for stress related illnesses.

“Any alleged harm must be a demonstrable injury to health”  
 
There is much within the guidance from the judges to applaud. They confirmed that psychiatric and physical illness should be addressed in the same way, and there are no specific occupations which are intrinsically dangerous to mental health. Any alleged harm must be a demonstrable injury to health, not simply “occupational stress”, and must be attributable directly to work. This  is  especially important as stress at work  is common and only infrequently damages health. They stated that employers are entitled to assume that employee can withstand normal pressure of work and to take what is said to them by employees at face value. Thus an employee returning to work after a period of sickness absence who does not disclose ongoing concerns in implying that he is fit to perform his previous duties.
 
More controversial was the guidance about employers’ responsibilities; “An employer who offers a  confidential advice service with referral to appropriate counselling and treatment services is unlikely to be found in breach of duty”. Such a ruling may have dramatic implications, leading to the explosion of the provision of workplace counselling. Many employers and their  staff  currently favour such an intervention over more practical measures such as reducing hours worked or increasing staff numbers. However,  the judges also stated that ”an employer can only reasonably be expected to take steps which are likely to do  some good: the court is likely to need expert evidence on this”, Where might one find such evidence?
 
Counselling in the workplace: the facts was published in January 2001 by The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and  could be seen as a timely and convenient answer to this problem. Its publication was reported in the British Medical  Journal under the headline “Review confirms workplace counselling reduces stress”. It describe itself as “an independent critical scoping  search of research into workplace counselling” and “the most comprehensive possible review of all English-Language studies of counselling in the workplace”.  It is certainly substantial, running to over 100 pages and has identified more that  80 pieces of work. Its review methodology is well presented and each piece of work is described and connected on using the language of evidence based medicine. The conclusions are clear and unequivocal. It claims that after counselling, work related symptoms return to normal in more than half of all clients, and sickness absence is reduced by over 25%; that workplace counselling is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression and substance misuse as well as “stress”. It is claimed that such results can be produced by as little as three sessions of any style of counselling as they turn out to be effective. Was this the expert evidence that the judges referred to?
 
A more detailed reading of the report raises problem as to whether its conclusions can be justified. No studies were  found that reported a negative outcome. This is surprising record of psychotherapy research. There is no funnel plot and the term “publication bias” is not mentioned. Having proclaimed the value of “methodological pluralism” whereby qualitative studies were included, the report dives into all those found into three categories; “best’, “supporting”, and “authenticating” evidence (there is no category for negative evidence)  .Serious doubts about the report’s claims emerge on the examination of those 19 studies described as “best evidence”. Within the work that was published in peer reviewed journals there is a description of eight years of a “Peer Assistance Programme” for nurses with substance abuse problems and two reports each by employees of an Employees Assistance Programme simply describing their work. The most common format was a before and  after study, typically comparing two different models of counselling. Three papers emerging from the Second Sheffield Psychotherapy Project describe many of  the same patients. There are other exs of unrecognized duplicate publication; two pairs of papers comprising early and late reports of the same study are included. The report states that it found randomized controlled trials. In one, “where a cluster randomisation was performed, it was felt to be unethical to withhold counseling from those who wanted it, and the method broke down. This is one of the few studies to show no benefit from counselling. The other paper, while describing as a randomised controlled trial in the report, had no element of randomization in it. 
 
The negative effect of counselling    
 
That counselling or a psychotherapeutic intervention might do harm is ignored by the author, although there is ample evidence that this can be the case. Indeed we have yet to encounter any treatments without side effects. With all treatments there is a balance to be struck between risks and benefits. Such adverse effects may include increased distress and dependency. This may occur by placing emphasis on the domain of the individual when the real problem is at the level of the organization.

Psychiatric disorders have many causes and falsely assuming problems that emerge in the workplace are due to work alone, may lead to other areas such as home and family problems being overlooked. At the middle end of the scale, distress is a normal, and often short lived, human emotion which not necessarily  benefit from being medical.
 
All evidence is useful, but any conclusions must be governed by the quality of that evidence. Counselling in the workplace: the facts suggest  that for one  reason or another the negative studies on workplace counselling have not come to light. We accept that good quality evidence can be difficult to obtain for some psychotherapeutic interventions, but this does not reduce the need for RCTs in this field……

Now answer to the following problems.

a) What are the benefits of workplace counselling?
 
b) Show 2 shortcomings of the abovementioned report?

c) What problems other than workplace that can cause stress to workers.

d) Name 2 implications of stress in the workplace.

HR Management, Management Studies

  • Category:- HR Management
  • Reference No.:- M96348

Have any Question? 


Related Questions in HR Management

In your own words explain the importance of hrm to any

In your own words, explain the importance of HRM to any organization then determine a HRM function that interest you as a future career. Explain your rationale. Explore the Society of Human Resource Management website ht ...

Discuss the following questionswhat are you doing at home

Discuss the following questions: What are you doing at home to reduce energy use from household appliances? Can recycling help save energy and reduce landfills? 350.org and other energy groups have set a goal to keep the ...

Consultants to support hrm and the future of hrm in health

"Consultants to Support HRM and the Future of HRM in Health Care" 1. Evaluate two (2) advantages for a health care administrator to engage the services of a consultant to improve the functions of HR. 2. Use the Internet ...

The strategic change model suggests an organization needs

The Strategic Change Model suggests an organization needs to be aligned in three systems: technical, political, and cultural. For your initial post in this module's discussion, locate and summarize an article about a com ...

Discuss three global employee and labor relations problems

Discuss three global employee and labor relations problems. How can organizations overcome these problems? Explain.

Some items to look for and include in your final research

Some items to look for and include in your final research report are listed below. Select some or all of the sites below to begin your search and to find information about your field--information related to your present ...

Weekly demand for jeans at a gap store is normally

Weekly demand for jeans at a Gap store is normally distributed, with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 50. The supply plant takes three weeks to supply a Gap order. The store manager monitors its inventory contin ...

Many companies look to attract retain and motivate

Many companies look to attract, retain, and motivate employees. Some might argue that money talks and is the key to attracting, retaining, and motivating employees. How important are benefits to you? Describe how a benef ...

Your company provides a full range of traditional benefits

Your company provides a full range of traditional benefits, medical, dental, vision, etc. You are hearing increasing complaints from your employees that these are not addressing the growing problem of reduced motivationa ...

Hrm hrd and your learning please respond to the following

"HRM, HRD, and Your Learning" Please respond to the following: Define the basic premises of both HR management and HR development so that you can explain both terms to someone who is totally unfamiliar with either term. ...

  • 4,153,160 Questions Asked
  • 13,132 Experts
  • 2,558,936 Questions Answered

Ask Experts for help!!

Looking for Assignment Help?

Start excelling in your Courses, Get help with Assignment

Write us your full requirement for evaluation and you will receive response within 20 minutes turnaround time.

Ask Now Help with Problems, Get a Best Answer

WalMart Identification of theory and critical discussion

Drawing on the prescribed text and/or relevant academic literature, produce a paper which discusses the nature of group

Section onea in an atwood machine suppose two objects of

SECTION ONE (a) In an Atwood Machine, suppose two objects of unequal mass are hung vertically over a frictionless

Part 1you work in hr for a company that operates a factory

Part 1: You work in HR for a company that operates a factory manufacturing fiberglass. There are several hundred empl

Details on advanced accounting paperthis paper is intended

DETAILS ON ADVANCED ACCOUNTING PAPER This paper is intended for students to apply the theoretical knowledge around ac

Create a provider database and related reports and queries

Create a provider database and related reports and queries to capture contact information for potential PC component pro