A quarter of sick days can be attributed to work-related stress, a survey by HR consultancy Ceridian showed.
The poll of 1,050 employees revealed respondents were absent for a total of 8,918 unscheduled days over the past 12 months, an average of 8.5 days per employee.
Respondents said a quarter of all these days were down to work-related stress.
Based on the CBI’s estimate that the cost of absence due to ill health was costing British business £13bn per year, Doug Sawers, managing director of Ceridian in the UK, said the cost of work-related stress could potentially be as high as £4.25bn.
He said: “With just 1.4% of employees in our survey accounting for 89% of the 2,222 work-related stress days taken off, employers should concentrate on the small number of employees taking many days off and devote more time to exploring the causes of their employees’ work-related stress and offering stress tips.
“Typical causes of work-related stress include workload, work responsibilities, work difficulty and manager style.
“Responsible employers need to explore what is contributing to work-related stress in their organisations and create strategies to address identified problems.”
The survey showed six out of 10 companies had provided no advice on health or wellbeing in the past 12 months.