Work-related stress affects almost half of UK workforce

In Almost half of UK workers suffer from stress, and 13 per cent have taken
time off work as a result, according to a study by vocational qualifications
supplier City & Guilds.

The survey of more than 1,000 employees found that 43 per cent suffered from
work-related stress. Of these, 67 per cent blamed their workload, while 12 per
cent felt it was because of being given extra responsibilities without
appropriate training.

Of those affected by stress, 55 per cent suffered sleepless nights as a
result. A quarter of respondents said they would take a pay cut if it meant
less pressure. One fifth (21 per cent) battled with depression, and a tenth
suffered a loss of libido.

The survey – conducted in February but published in May – found that younger
employees were most likely to blame a lack of training. Eighty-three per cent
of people aged under 30 said that additional training would make them better
able to cope with their job, compared with 55 per cent across all age groups.

"Staff are required to possess a diverse range of skills," said
Chris Humphries, director general of City & Guilds. "This places huge
pressure on them. It’s vital that companies invest in training to ensure their
employees are fully prepared for the additional responsibilities they

Meanwhile, a study by the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) has said
that one in three manufacturers believe long-term sickness absence is rising,
and now accounts for 80 per cent of the total time lost from work. Yet managers
feel ill-equipped to deal with getting staff back to work.

The EEF has published a new guide, called Fit for Work, to help firms
maximise attendance.

By Nic Paton

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