Stress - number one cause of long-term absence
Research conducted by the CIPD shows that mental health problems hit both manual and non-manual staff.
Stress is now the number one cause of long-term sickness absence as employees struggle with heavy workloads and job loss worries the CIPD claim.
This year’s Absence Management survey, undertaken with Simplyhealth, reveals that stress has taken over from musculoskeletal problems as the top cause of absence for both manual and non-manual workers. Nearly four in ten (39 per cent) of employers say that absence due to mental health problems has gone up in the last year, while only 12 per cent say that it has decreased. There is a clear link between the rise in mental health problems and job security, with employers who are planning redundancies significantly more likely to report an increase in stress-related absence (51 per cent) than other employers (32 per cent).
There is a particular increase in stress-related absence among public sector organisations, with 50 per cent of these respondents reporting an increase.
Overall, employee absence levels have remained relatively stable, with an average of 7.7 days lost per employee. Public sector absence stood at 9.1 days, a slight improvement on last year, while private sector absence was 7.1 days, slightly worse.
CIPD adviser Jill Miller said: “The survey this year shows that stress is for the first time the number one cause of long-term sickness absence, highlighting the heightened pressure many people feel under in the workplace as a result of the prolonged economic downturn.
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