Work Stress in the Banking Industries of Australia and South Africa: Drivers of Stress and Legislative Responses to the Issue
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This paper examines workers' compensation and occupational health and safety issues as they relate to the banking industry in Australia and South Africa. In particular it focuses on the issue of workplace stress. The paper reviews a number of studies on work stress and the drivers of stress within the banking sector and generally. It also examines the extent to which workers' compensation and occupational health and safety laws in the two countries may impose liability on banks to compensate workers for mental harm. The authors find that, whilst the workforce and economy of the two countries are different, there are a number of similarities in relation to workplace stress in the respective banking sectors. Common drivers of stress in the banking sector include a continual process of restructure and change, combined with additional stressors arising from economic uncertainty and the macroeconomic climate extant in 2012. However, the paper also considers other potential stressors in the banking workplace which may be reflective of the specific issues faced by and the demographics within the banking sector in these two countries. This paper adds an international perspective to the issue of work stress by comparing stressors and legislative responses to work stress within the banking sectors in two major Southern Hemisphere economies. A number of recommendations for further research are also made.
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