If you think you are at risk of work-related stress you should alert your line manager or supervisor as soon as possible, and in confidence. They will arrange to meet you to discuss your concerns, following the management guidance and using the approach recommended by the Health and Safety Executive. Your line manager or supervisor may use the checklist based on the HSE management standards, which sets out practical steps to address workplace stress. You may find it helpful to look at this checklist before you meet your line manager.
If stress appears to be affecting your health, with your consent your line manager may refer you to the University Occupational Health Service. In such cases, the Occupational Health Physician may ask for your consent to approach your GP on a confidential basis for information about your health. Having a full picture of your health is extremely useful in such situations: any strategies that are discussed with you to deal with or manage the situation can then be made with the benefit of professional medical advice. Alternatively you may refer yourself to the Occupational Health Service, who may, in turn refer you to the staff counselling service for some confidential one-to-one sessions, if it is felt that this may be of benefit to you.
Your manager will then set up regular meetings with you to review the actions that have been identified to address the source(s) of stress. The actions will aim both to relieve stress points in the short term (perhaps by providing additional support/training, or reassigning a particular piece of work where appropriate), and to address the underlying causes in the longer term.
It is sometimes necessary for managers to invoke disciplinary procedures to address poor performance or conduct, and to protect other staff from the adverse effects of such under-performance. It is recognised that the prospect of disciplinary proceedings or the proceedings themselves may be stressful for the staff involved. This will not of itself prevent managers from pursuing legitimate management action: indeed lengthy delays in the disciplinary process may aggravate stress.
Line managers should, however, seek advice if necessary from University HR and/or the Occupational Health Services as to how to support the member of staff concerned while the disciplinary process is in progress to mitigate the effects of any stress. Similar advice may be necessary in the context of the grievance procedure.