Employers have reported stress as the most common cause of long-term sickness absence, according to research published today.
The joint survey, by the CIPD and healthcare provider Simplyhealth, found that more than one-third (35%) of employers reported stress as the main reason for long-term sickness absence in the past 12 months.
The survey also revealed that 73% of manual and 79% of non-manual public sector employers rated stress as a top-five common cause of absence. This compares to an average across all sectors of 51% and 63% respectively.
The research also shows that public sector employers have reported higher sickness absence levels over the past year than their private sector counterparts, with public sector workers taking an average of three days’ more sick leave than those in the private sector. This reinforces previous research which found higher levels of sickness absence in the public sector.
Although the research was carried out before the Spending Review was announced, the figures for the public sector are likely to rise as cuts take effect. With fewer workers responsible for maintaining public services stress levels are likely to get higher resulting in higher levels of sickness absence.
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