There is a growing problem in the UK with regards to work-related stress, and managers need to do more to help their staff members, according to the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

General secretary of the TUC Frances O’Grady commented on the latest figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that revealed workers took 15.4 million days off in 2017/18 due to stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace.

She stated: “Work-related stress is a growing epidemic. It’s time employers and the government took it more seriously.”

Ms O’Grady added that bosses “need to do far more to reduce the causes of stress and support employers struggling to cope”.

This might include reducing their excessive workloads; tackling bullying in the office; and making the company a less toxic place to come to every day.

Providing flexible-working arrangements could also be beneficial, as this helps employees strike a better work-life balance. For instance, giving them business phone numbers will enable them to bring their work home, so they do not have to go into the office every day and can be around their family more.

Last week, the HSE reported that stress, depression or anxiety were the reason behind the majority of days lost in the 12-month period. What’s more, the figures showed an increase in days lost to work-related stress of almost three million from the year before.

The HSE noted that sufferers of mental health problems typically took 25.8 days off work in 2017/18, which is significantly higher than the days taken for injuries (7.1 days), ill health (19.8 days), and musculoskeletal disorders (14 days).

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