Workplace stress levels on the rise

News Article

Work related stress is at its highest level in 16 years according to an annual report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Although the overall rates of occupational ill health have not changed dramatically across the UK, the proportion of people who reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety rose by 7 per cent last year, reaching a rate of 1610 per 100,000 workers.

The figures, which were released on 1 November, are taken from the annual Labour Force Survey, produced by the Office of National Statistics.

It found that, overall, 526,000 people who had worked in the last 12 months had a work-related mental health condition, compared to 487,000 in 2015/16 and 442,000 in 2014/15.

Overall, 12.5 million working days were lost as a result of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, a study into absenteeism relating to stress, anxiety or depression found the following reasons given:

  • 44 per cent – workload related
  • 14 per cent – lack of support
  • 13 per cent – violence, threats or bullying
  • 8 per cent – changes at work
  • 21 per cent – ‘other reasons’

Lara Murray, an Associate with Palmers who specialises in health and safety issues, said: “The latest figures from the ONS show that workplace related illness is still a significant cause for concern and illustrates the fact that employers have a duty of care to ensure both the physical and mental wellbeing of its workers.

“Looking after the health of your workers is a win-win as it also reduces the amount of lost days from work and increases employee retention and overall profitability.”

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