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Stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees and there is a strong link between job security and mental health problems, according to this year's Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development /Simplyhealth Absence Management survey.
And although the survey was based in the UK, its results are probably fairly indicative of the way we were feeling wherever we are in the world so here follow the survey results together with some useful tips on how to help employees' mental and physical health.
Employers planning to make redundancies in the next six months are significantly more likely to report an increase in mental health problems among their staff (51% compared with 32% who are not planning redundancies).
For manual workers, stress is now level with acute medical conditions and has overtaken musculoskeletal problems to become the top cause of long-term absence. While among non-manual staff, stress has moved ahead of acute medical conditions.
There is a particular increase in stress-related absence among public sector organisations, with 50% of these respondents reporting an increase. Public sector respondents identify the amount of organisational change and restructuring as the number one cause of stress at work, highlighting the impact of public sector cuts to jobs, pension benefits and pay freezes.
Job insecurity is also reported as a more common cause of work-related stress in the public sector this year (24%) compared with last year (10%) and is higher than in the private (14%) and non-profit sectors (14%).
Unsurprisingly, given the significant budget cuts in the UK, more than two-fifths (43%) of public sector organisations report they will be making redundancies over the next six months (compared with 17% in the private sector and 24% of non-profits).
6th October 2011