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Millions of UK working days lost to work-related stress

Publish date: 27 November 2019
Issue Number: 314
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Category: Health

A total of 12.8m UK working days were lost because of work-related stress, anxiety and depression in 2018-19, amounting to an average of 21.2 days lost per case. People Management reports that data from the Labour Force Survey, analyses by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – the UK’s health and safety watchdog – showed that incidences of work-related stress, depression and anxiety have increased steadily since 2014-15, reaching a rate of 1 800 cases per 100 000 workers in the most recent figures. Mental health was the most common type of work-related ill-health, accounting for 44% of all work-related illness, and women saw more incidences of such conditions; over the years 2016-17 to 2018-19, there were an average of 2 020 cases per 100 000 female workers, compared with 1 490 cases per 100 000 male workers. Rachel Suff, senior policy adviser at the CIPD, said other research showed similar results. ‘Our findings also show that unmanageable workloads and 'management style' are the top two causes of stress-related absence,’ she said, adding that ‘organisations need to understand what is driving ill-health and unhealthy working practices, like presenteeism, to improve employee wellbeing.’

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