29 October 2010 #Employment
A survey recently carried out by the CIPD and Simplyhealth (a health care provider) revealed that in the last 12 months stress was the main cause of long-term sickness absence in the businesses surveyed.
Stress-related absence was seen and reported by more public sector employers over the last year than their private sector counterparts, with public sector workers taking an average of 3 days more sick leave.
Dr Jill Miller, advisor to CIPD warned that ‘employers need to watch out presenteeism`. This is when employees turn up for work when they are ill owing to a number of factors such as not wanting to let their team down, pressure to perform well in times of organisational change and wishing to avoid sickness absence in the an attempt to protect themselves from job cuts.
However, organisational change is just one of a number of possible causes of stress related sickness absence. Employers will need to be aware of other underlying problems such as issues at home affecting employees or bullying at work. Policies and procedures need to be put into place to monitor stress and anxiety for all staff, including managers.