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25% of sick days taken off due to work-related stress

A survey on health in the workplace by Ceridian reveals that 25 per cent of sick days taken off from work are due to work-related stress. Our survey of 1,050 employees revealed respondents took off a total of 8,918 unscheduled days in the last twelve months; an average of 8.5 days per employee.

A quarter of all the days taken off by our respondents were down to work-related stress. The CBI has estimated the cost of absence due to ill health is costing British business £13bn per year. Potentially, the cost of work-related stress could be as high as £4.25bn!

With just 1.4 per cent of employees in our survey accounting for 89 per cent of the 2,222 work-related stress days taken off, employers should concentrate on the small number of employees taking many days off and devote more time to exploring the causes of their employees' work-related stress and offering stress tips.

Typical causes of work-related stress include workload, work responsibilities, work difficulty and manager style. Responsible employers need to explore what is contributing to work-related stress in their organisations and create strategies to address identified problems.

Our survey showed six out of ten companies had provided no advice on health or well-being in the last twelve months. Simple advice sheets on diet, daily physical activity, sleep routines, deep breathing exercises and other stress management techniques would go a long way.

By reducing the number of days absent due to work-related stress, organisations could make a significant positive impact to their financial performance and staff morale.

Doug Sawers, Managing Director of Ceridian in the UK

Ceridian is a sponsor of the International Stress Management Association's "Smile Away Stress" campaign.

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