The number of employees absent from work due to stress and mental health conditions is on the rise. Newly released government figures show the number of days lost to stress, depression and anxiety increased by 24 percent in the UK between 2009 and 2013, and in this year’s CIPD absence management survey, 40 percent of participants noticed an increase in stress-related absence and mental health problems in the past year.
Musculoskeletal injuries and acute medical conditions, and workload was quoted as the most common cause of stress.
In the digital age people are finding it much more difficult to be able to switch off, with phones and laptops delivering news from work without a break on any day of the week.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that 9.9 million days were lost to work-related stress, depression or anxiety over the last year. Not only than but business can find themselves carrying the cost of absenteeism, when businesses find themselves facing personal injury and constructive unfair dismissal claims.
Employers have a legal duty to ensure that employees are provided with a safe working environment. This means taking reasonable care to prevent personal injury, including mental or physical harm that may in some cases arise due to workplace stress.