Problem is worse in the public sector
Further evidence has emerged that stress is a leading cause of long-term absence in UK workplaces.
Interviews with 500 employers commissioned by Group Risk Development (GRiD) found that almost one in six (15%) cited stress-related mental ill-health as the most common cause of long-term absence (defined as absence lasting longer than four weeks).
However, home and families issues are more commonly cited, by 20% of employers.
Research conducted by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) earlier this year put stress at the top of a table of causes of long-term absence, for the first time in the organisation’s 12 years of polling employers.
Both the CIPD and GRiD have found that the problem of stress is worse in the public sector. GRiD found that 27% of public sector employers citing it as their main cause of absence compared with 13% in the private sector..
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “Stress is often overlooked as a cause of long-term absence from work, compared to acute medical conditions such as heart attack or cancer. These figures prove just how big a problem absence through stress is for employers, and provide a timely reminder for businesses to take action over what is often a preventable condition.
“In times of increased economic pressure it is important for employers to consider firstly the wellbeing of their employees and what wider implications are suggested by high levels of stress or other mental illness, and secondly what provisions they have in place to ensure both the employee and the employer are adequately protected in case of long-term absence.”
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