There has been a surge in working days lost to stress, anxiety and depression with businesses advised to offer more support to struggling employees.
The reported increase in employee absence due to mental health issues comes as a further report confirms that depression in the UK is ‘rising faster than any other condition’1 meaning that depression has overtaken obesity as the second most common recorded condition in the country. Hypertension remained the most prevalent condition, affecting 13.9% of the population.
The number of working days lost to work-related stress, anxiety and depression reached 15.4 million in 2017/18, figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal. This represents an increase of three million days from the previous year when the figure stood at 12.4 million.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said work-related stress is a growing epidemic which employers and the government need to take more seriously.
“Warm words are not going to fix this problem,” she argued. “Managers need to do far more to reduce the causes of stress and support employees struggling to cope.”
The HSE figures also show 1.4 million workers were suffering from work-related ill-health and around 555,000 from non-fatal injuries in 2017/18.
Overall, 30.7 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury last year, costing Britain £15bn a year.
- Data from GP surgeries shows 9.9% of patients are now considered to be battling the mental health disorder, up from 9.1% last year.