Stress-related absenteeism is up generally in business by 64 per cent compared with 2019, reveals data released by employee absence management software firm E-days.
The results show that the sectors struggling most with stress-related sickness are, unsurprisingly, healthcare (0.64 days of stress-related absence on average per employee), followed by Government and International Affairs (0.57 days on average per employee) and human resources and staffing (0.39 days on average per employee).
Unfortunately, the industries topping the charts for stress-related absences are those that have been particularly affected by the events of the past few months.
With a 146 per cent increase in days of stress-related absence per user year on year, healthcare has naturally been at the front line of the pandemic and faced a continued and ever more pressured working environment.
In addition to the global health pandemic, dealing with Brexit planning in an already highly pressurised environment has seen an increase of 39 per cent in stress-related leave year on year.
An additional area of concern highlighted by the data is the high placing on this list for HR and staffing professionals.
The report states: "This is an industry with a key focus on promoting wellbeing amongst the workforce but had the third-highest rating and a 70 per cent increase in stress-related leave per user year on year. It’s an industry that saw a huge increase in workload throughout 2020 as it navigated the implications of multiple lockdowns on the worldwide workforce."
Additional e-days data indicates that cancelled leave owing to postponed holidays and cancelled engagements doubled in 2020. This in itself has increased administration and presented logistical challenges for HR and staffing.
In a separate survey by insurance company Hiscox, almost half of 1,000 SME businesses said the biggest foreseen challenge for 2021 was wellbeing and mental health.