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Stress driving too many people out of work

Almost half of employees know a colleague who left their job because of the stress they were under.

Some 47 per cent of more than 3,000 workers surveyed by Capita Employee Benefits said that stress had driven someone they knew out of work.

Silent issue

Part of the problem seemed to be the lack of help provided by employers and an unsupportive workplace atmosphere. More than a quarter revealed that they had told their employer about stress in the past, but their employer had not helped.

Almost three in five employees said they would not be happy to talk about mental health issues with colleagues, and just a third said they would feel comfortable talking to their employer.

Nearly eight in ten respondents said they felt stressed at work in the last 12 months, with women and younger workers (aged 16 to 34) the most likely to feel the strain.

Alistair Dornan, Head of Health and Risk Management at Capita Employee Benefits, said, 'Considering the cost of absenteeism, lowered productivity and talent leaving organisations on organisations' bottom lines - it's vital employers start taking stress seriously.

'To tackle the growing stress epidemic organisations must encourage an open dialogue about stress with staff. Half the problem with stress is that it can be a silent issue - with people simply taking time off because they can't face work.'

Acas publications and services

Acas has detailed information on Dealing with stress in the workplace which aims to help stress reduction in the workplace, addressing its causes and coping with its symptoms.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and help you identify the causes of stress, absenteeism, and high staff turnover. See Stress: how Acas can help for more information.

Practical Acas training on Health, work and wellbeing, Stress, Staff retention and Skills for supervisors covers topics such as tackling 'Toxic workplace cultures', and 'Building Stress Resilience in the Workplace'.

For free, impartial advice and guidance visit Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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