Employers report increase in stress-related absence

October 2004
Management Services;Oct2004, Vol. 48 Issue 10, p6
Academic Journal
This article deals with the findings of a survey regarding the increase in stress-related absence in Great Britain, as of October 2004. The average level of sickness absence is 9.1 working days per employee, a slight increase from 9 days for the previous year. The highest rate of absence is in the public sector at 10.7 days and the lowest rates are within the private service at 7.8 days. Although minor illnesses such as colds and flu remain the most important cause of sickness absence for all British workers, the report shows that stress is a growing cause of absence with 52 percent of employers reporting an increase. It is the biggest cause of long-term absence for non-manual workers and the fourth biggest cause for manual staff. The main causes of stress-related absence are identified as workload with 68 percent of employers identifying this as a reason, management style/relationships at work, organizational change and pressure to meet targets. Encouragingly, more than three-quarters of employers are taking action against work-related stress. The survey also reveals the views of human resource professionals on the sick-note system, which is under review by the British Department for Work and Pensions.


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