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Report: Stress causing more long-term absences

Report: Stress causing more long-term absences
Stress is becoming an increasingly common reason for people taking long-term absences from work on the grounds of poor health, a new study has revealed.

Research published yesterday (October 9th) by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Simplyhealth has established that 40 per cent of employers have seen a rise in this problem over the course of the last 12 months.

By comparison, the latest Absence Management Survey also found that the issue has declined within their organisation over the same time period, meaning stress has now been the most common reason for lengthy spell of work for two years in a row.

Meanwhile, the level of other reported mental health problems is also on the rise as the pressure many workers are under is cranked up by the impact of the double-dip recession.

For instance, in excess of double the number of employers indicated that issues such as depression and anxiety have grown in size this year when compared to the figures posted in 2009.

However, despite the fact that mental health problems are on the increase, the average level of employee absence has fallen throughout the previous 12 months from 7.7 days annually in 2011 to 6.8 this year.

The CIPD and Simplyhealth have attributed these contrasting trends to the increasingly common practice of presenteeism, as around 33 per cent of organisations have seen the number of people coming into work when ill go up in 2012.

More professionals are completing their shift even while feeling under the weather due to the perceived growing threat of job cuts, the report noted.

Dr Jill Miller, research adviser at the CIPD, stated that this offers proof that the continuing economic uncertainty in the UK is "taking its toll" on workers.

"We urge employers to examine whether lower absence levels within their own organisations are as a result of more effective absence management or if they reflect the negative impact of presenteeism," she added.

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Posted by Trusha Vyas