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Stress at record high for UK workers

By Olivia Utton

Workplace stress has reached record levels, according to a TUC report for World Mental Health Day.

The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 health and safety reps showed that seven in ten of those questioned regarded stress at work as the top health hazard - a figure up on the 67 per cent figure from 2014.

Those in public sector jobs appear to be worst hit according to the report. 93 per cent of those representing central government employees regarded it as one of the top five hazards, while nearly nine in 10 of respondents in the education sector and more that four out of five in the health services also listing it as a major concern.

However, medium-sized private sector companies have also seen a rise in concerns over stress since the 2014 survey. Three-quarters of reps in firms with 50-99 workers rated it as a top five concern, compared with 62 per cent two years ago.

Stress is also the most widespread concern across the 11 UK areas which the survey covered.

The biggest increase in the last two years has been in Northern Ireland - up by 13 per cent to 78 per cent.

The North’s figure is up by 11 per cent to 78 per cent, while in Scotland there is an eight per cent to 74 per cent. The rise in the South West is six per cent to 81 per cent while there are five per cent rises East Anglia (64 per cent) and the South East (67 per cent).

Of the figures, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The message from the shop floor is clear, stress is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.

“Pressures of long working hours and low job security are being felt in workplaces across the UK.

“Stress is preventable if staff have reasonable workloads, supportive managers and a workplace free from violence, bullying and harassment.

“Anyone worried about their workload or being unfairly treated at work should join a union, to get the support they need and their interests represented at work.”


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