Majority believe half all stress claims are bogus

The
majority of HR professionals have serious reservations about the number of
genuine sick days attributed to stress, with many concerned that employees are
using it as an excuse to take time off work.

The
survey shows that 51 per cent of employers believe that only half of all the
days lost to stress-related sickness absence are genuine.

Employers
are clearly concerned about malingerers taking advantage of the condition, with
68 per cent afraid to raise its profile in case it encourages greater reporting
of it.

Tim
Williams, HR director at Edexcel, said people can often confuse feeling
stressed with simply feeling run down or overworked.

"Stress
is a medical condition, and I have the utmost respect for it, but being under
pressure at work is something very different," he said. "I’m not
saying that companies should be working people so hard that they crack, but
feeling under pressure at work – I’m afraid that’s just life."

Williams
said HR should now try and act as a broker to bring line managers together and
implement polices that help avoid the problem in the first place.

The
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s employee relations adviser
Mike Emmott said that it was a difficult challenge for employers because stress
is a very subjective illness with no real measure or diagnosis.

Comments are closed.