More than a third say a colleague has complained about stress but didn’t receive employer support, says report.

Nearly half (44 per cent) of UK workers know someone who has given up work because of stress, according to a new report by Capita Employee Benefits.

The research  found that 36 per cent of workers have colleagues who have complained about stress to their employer but received no support.  Only a third of the 3,000 workers surveyed said they would feel comfortable talking to their employer if they had a mental health problem.

More than half (56 per cent) of workers surveyed said they wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to colleagues about taking time off work following mental ill-health.

In a separate report, the health and safety representatives from TUC’s biennial Focus on health and safety report named stress as one of the UK’s top workplace hazards.

70 per cent of the 1,000 health and safety (H&S) representatives surveyed by the TUC named stress as a problem that most affects employees; up three per cent on 2014’s study.

Stress was highest in the public sector, with 93 per cent of those surveyed who work in central government naming stress as a top five workplace hazard. Rates were also high in the education sector (89 per cent) and health services (82 per cent).

TUC secretary general Frances O’Grady said:

“It’s in no-one’s interests to have overstretched workforces. People who experience high anxiety are less productive and are more likely to take time off. Stress is preventable if staff have reasonable workloads, supportive managers and a workplace free from violence, bullying and harassment.”

The report also showed a big rise in stress at medium-sized companies. Three-quarters said it was as a top-five concern in companies with 50-99 employees, compared with 62 per cent  in 2014.

Karim Peer, CEO of Balmoral Financial commented on the report findings:

“With 19 per cent of employees stating that their financial worries affect their work, businesses need to take the lead when it comes to erasing the stigma around financial struggles. Instead of risking the damage to their reputation, employees are suffering in silence, which impacts their health, wellbeing and performance at work.

“Those in HR or management should make sure that they consider the differing needs of their workforce. Research from Balmoral Financial has found that only 12 per cent of HR professionals offer solutions tailored to their staff, with 44 per cent stating that they have a standard company package. Recognising that each individual will need a set of benefits tailored to their preferences is essential to starting a conversation around money matters, as an employee’s requirements can be driven by multiple circumstances and life stages.

“It is encouraging to see that financial wellbeing is an increasingly important issue in the workplace. Recent research from Balmoral found that 37 per cent of HR professionals recognised this benefit as needing the most enhancement within their firm. But businesses need to make sure they are encouraging a conversation around financial wellbeing and that their workforce has access to a supportive employee benefit.”

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