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Workplace stress is a growing problem. Difficult and demanding situations may be inevitable in the workplace but regular, consistent and chronic stress often experienced as a result, can add significantly to the damage of employees’ health and mental well-being resulting in poor work performance and increased sick leave.

HSE identified:
‘work-related stress, depression or anxiety is defined as a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work’.

The latest estimates from the Labour Force Survey show work related stress, depression and anxiety continue to represent a significant ill health condition in the workforce of Great Britain with a total number of cases in 2016/2017 being 526,000 (a prevalence rate of 1,610 per 100,000 workers).

The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2016/2017 was 12.5 million days equating to an average of 23.8 days lost per case.

In 2016/2017 work related stress, depression and anxiety accounted for

    40% of all work related ill health cases 
   49% of working days lost due to ill health

Stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education, human health and social care work activities, and public administration and defence.

Reasons cited as primary causes of work related stress are also consistent over time with

   workload pressures including tight deadlines
    too much responsibility  
    lack of managerial support

Larger enterprises showed significantly higher rates of work related stress than small and medium enterprises.