Last year, a survey of workers’ sick days found that the number of days taken off had nearly doubled since 1995.
This latest survey carried out by Personnel Today magazine found that 51% of HR professionals had serious reservations about the number of genuine sick days attributed to stress, with many concerned that employees were using it as an excuse to take time off work.
Employers are clearly concerned about malingerers taking advantage of the condition, with more than two-thirds afraid to raise its profile in case it encouraged greater use of it as an excuse.
Tim Williams, HR director at Edexcel, said people can often confuse feeling stressed with simply feeling run down or overworked.
‘Stress is a medical condition, and I have the utmost respect for it, but being under pressure at work is something very different,’ he said. ‘I’m not saying that companies should be working people so hard that they crack, but feeling under pressure at work – I’m afraid that’s just life.’
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