Work-related stress, anxiety and depression continue to be the leading causes of staff absence in the UK, according to recent figures.

In total, stress, anxiety and depression now makes up 44% of all workplace absences, compared to 32% in 2001/02. The data released outlined workers in the education industry are most at risk, followed by social workers.

The increase has been partially driven by the increased awareness of mental health and the support available to staff members, thus encouraging more individuals to speak out. A 24-hour mental health hotline was announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond as part of the 2018 Autumn Budget, although there are growing calls for employers to do more.

A spokesperson from Health and Safety Executive (HSE) commented: “The important thing is to start the conversation about stress and mental health issues. Talking about the work and what causes pressure to employees can help develop solutions that can prevent people becoming ill or identify those that need help.”

How can we reduce stress-related absence?

Although many employers are taking action when stress-related absence becomes apparent, attention needs to shift to monitoring and addressing the root causes.

LeavePlanner, an incredibly cost-effective absence management system, allows administrators to add a variety of leave types, like maternity leave, annual leave and stress absence. By adding such leave types, line managers are able to monitor absence requests among employees and address damaging trends before they become a longer-term issue.

Start your 30-day LeavePlanner trial for no upfront cost today.

For any queries, call Steve on 01252 636 070 or email