Monday, February 22, 2016
A Manager's 'duty of care' responsibilities
By John Kyriazoglou
Plato: ‘The most important of all goods is health, the second is beauty of the soul and the third is to be able to become rich without doing anything bad’.
This short article describes a plan for improving the responsibilities you have as a business owner, board director or manager towards the wellbeing of your employees.
Our workplaces are full of problems, to put it lightly. According to the World Health Organization ‘Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and stress, are common, affecting individuals, their families and co-workers, and the broader community. In addition, they have a direct impact on workplaces through increased absenteeism, reduced productivity, and increased costs1.’
As 60-70% of people with common mental disorders were in work, according to various experts and governmental studies, it is up to each company and its individual owners and managers to do something about these crucial and debilitating problems at work.
The principle that investing in support for employees who may be struggling is not just morally correct but a financial imperative is well established, according to experts2.
Also you must remember that your staff, quite rightly so, are the single most valuable asset your organization has. This definitely means that when they work and travel for your company, you need to be assured of their safety at all times, to the best of your abilities.
In general terms, a manager’s or professional’s duty of care responsibility is a legal, and many times, professional obligation, which is imposed on an individual manager or professional, requiring them to adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing their duties and avoid any acts that could foreseeably harm others (organizations, societies, people, environment, et).
In practical terms, duty of care means that every party to a contract must comply well according to the rules included in it as well as other relevant industry and state laws and regulations on ethics, health and safety. The same goes for an accountant in correctly maintaining financial transactions and preparing company accounts; Auditors, in confirming the financial statements of a company; Board and managers in managing well their corporate resources, etc.
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