HR managers’ body, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, surveyed 1,078 HR professionals, who blamed heavy workloads and poor management for stress-related absence.
Two-thirds of respondents to the annual survey said excessive workload was the main cause of stress-related absence, and more blamed poor management for stress than in previous years.
Poor management is now the second biggest contributing factor, cited by 43% of respondents, compared with 32% the year before.
A third of businesses reporting that stress-related absence had increased over the past year had not taken any steps to address it, the survey found.
Worryingly, fewer employers are trying to identify sources of stress in their workplaces – the first step in the process of tackling it at source and preventing it from occurring.
More than four-fifths (83%) of respondents had observed “presenteeism” (going to work when ill) in their organisation and a quarter (25%) said the problem had got worse since the previous year.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) had observed “leaveism”, where staff use their holiday entitlement to complete work. Despite this, more than half (55%) of respondents said their organisation hasn’t taken any steps to address the issue.