16% called in sick due to stress in past year

One in six (16%) respondents called in sick due to stress in the past year, according to research by Friends Life.

Its research, which surveyed 2,000 UK employees, found that young people were more likely to feel the pressure, with almost a quarter (24%) of 18-to-24 year olds calling in sick due to stress during this time.

The research has been published to coincide with National Stress Awareness Day on 6 November.

It also found that stress among 18-to-24 year olds is due to job security (52%), fear of redundancy (36%), money (35%) and work (22%).

The research also exposed a gender gap in the drivers for stress, with 31% of male respondents saying work causes them the most stress, followed by money (28%). For female respondents, money was the main cause of stress, cited by 34%.

David Williams (pictured), director of group protection at Friends Life, said: “Despite green shoots of recovery in the economy, it’s clear from our research that many workers continue to live under a serious burden of stress, particularly those under the age of 25. UK economic output is improving, but this is not having as positive an effect on UK workers’ stress levels as we would have hoped.

“Employers can provide valuable services for their employees that can help prevent and manage stress.

“It is important that employers spot the signs of stress early to ensure that appropriate action can be taken to help employees feeling pressurised. This can positively affect employee wellbeing and engagement, as well as business productivity.”