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Stress still among top causes of absence

Published on: Dec 13 2016 at 05:45 PM

Work-related stress remains one of the top causes of sickness absence according to new statistics.

The latest figures on stress for Great Britain reveal that, in 2015/16, it accounted for 37% of all work related ill-health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to illness.

Published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the statistics also show that the total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety over that period was 488,000. That equates, the HSE points out, to a prevalence rate of 1510 per 100,000 workers.

There were 224,000 new cases in 2015/16 - an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000 workers.

Overall, 11.7 million working days were lost due to work-related stress during 2015/16, equivalent to an average of 23.9 days lost per case. The HSE notes that working days lost per worker showed a generally downward trend to around 2009/10, since when the rate has been broadly flat.

Stress is more prevalent in public service industries, the HSE points out, including education, health and social care, defence and public administration.

According to the Labour Force Survey, the predominant cause of work-related stress is workload and particularly very tight deadlines, too much work, or too much pressure or responsibility.

A lack of managerial support, organisational changes at work, violence, and a lack of clarity about a job have also been identified as factors leading to stress.

Compared with all workplaces combined, small enterprises had significantly lower rates of workplace stress anxiety and depression, the SHE highlighted, with medium and large enterprises having significantly higher rates.



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