Stress in the workplace is now more common than back pain

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The recently published Chartered Institute of Personnel Development(CIPD)/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey has shown that stress is now the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees. Job insecurity is reported to be a common reason for work-related stress, increasing by 24% over last year in the public sector, 14% in the private sector and 14% in the not-for-profit sectors. With more than 43% of public sector organisations, 17% in the private sector and 24% in the not-for-profit sectors reporting they will be making redundancies in the next six months, this is not surprising. It is important that managers focus on regaining the trust of their employees with open communication throughout any business reorganisations to avoid any unnecessary stress which will inevitably lead to sickness absence. They should also be watching out for signs of employees finding difficulty coping at work and providing appropriate support. Absence levels are generally lower this year but more than 28% of employers reported an increase in the number of people coming to work who were clearly unwell in the last twelve months.

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