Absenteeism due to stress could be “tip of the iceberg”

Following the recent release of government figures showing that 250,000 Britons have claimed £600million in incapacity benefits for stress related illness, Legal & General’s Group Protection business has conducted research that suggests that it is not only tax payers who could be paying for Britain’s stressful work environments. 

With the latest CBI’s annual absence and labour turnover survey highlighting that staff absence cost UK employers over £13bn last year, businesses should also be taking measures to combat stress in their workplace.

Legal & General’s Health Uncovered research reveals that 33% of full time workers in the UK are concerned for their health due to the levels of stress caused by their daily routine.  A further 24% of full time British workers say that they are generally stressed at work, 20% say they work too many extra hours and 23% never take a break during work.

Vanessa Sallows, underwriting and benefits director for Legal & General’s Group Protection business, commented: “Staff absence can have a major impact to a company’s bottom line. So working with independent specialists we have helped companies to significantly reduce their staff absenteeism and get employees back into work. 

“We have demonstrated that with the early intervention of the most appropriate support to help an absent employee, whether that is career counselling, stress management, cognitive behavioural therapy, (CBT) or a physical evaluation, we have been able to get over 50% of absent employees back into work, in the first year.

“We believe that the support and expertise we offer employers as a respected provider of workplace benefits will continue to improve absenteeism in the future and as a result reduce the financial cost to businesses.”

Legal & General’s Group Protection business has been offering employers a range of employee benefits and support services to help them and their employees improve workplace health for over 80 years.

The research was conducted by YouGov amongst a GB representative sample of 2,032 adults between 15 and 18 June 2007.

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