Chefs slam code to ease stress in workplace

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Related tags: Pub chefs, Employment

Government plans to reduce stress levels in the workplace could cause a headache in pub kitchens, according to caterers. Pub chefs have branded the...

Government plans to reduce stress levels in the workplace could cause a headache in pub kitchens, according to caterers.

Pub chefs have branded the new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) code ­ which aims to protect employees from excessive work levels ­ as "unnecessary".

The six-point plan urges employers to ease stress on workers by offering greater support and stamping-out bullying.

Failure to comply with the HSE code could result in staff mounting legal action against bosses. But head chefs could be unfairly penalised under the code, according to John Williams, chef proprietor at the Bull Country Bistro in Shocklach, Malpas, Cheshire.

"I think the Government should stop inter-fering. There's enough protection for staff under current employment laws.

"Also how do you define bullying? If a chef shouts at a junior member of staff then it deters them from making the same mistake again."

The voluntary HSE code aims to reduce the 13 million work days a year that are currently lost due to stress. But many operators expressed concern that the code offered staff excessive protection against employers.

Roger Cotton, licensee at the Merrie Harriers in Cowbeech, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, said: "A kitchen is a high-pressure environment, inevitably tempers will get lost and voices will be raised. I think employers need to apply some common sense to avoid falling foul of these plans."

Related topics: Legislation

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