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Women more likely to be absent from work due to stress

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The chances of women taking time off work due to stress are three times higher than their male counterparts, new analysis has found.

Based on statistics released by the Department for Work and Pensions, the analysis was carried out by Legal & General for the period between October and December last year.

It found that 31,000 women were absent from work due to matters relating to stress in comparison to 11,000 men.

Despite the disparity the numbers may be worrying for companies throughout the UK, as the total number of people taking stress-related absence is so high.

There is a general lack of support in offices for those who are suffering from the effects of stress, as more and more pressure is put on workers through cuts to resources and staffing levels.

The research found that as few as 17 per cent of businesses had a structure put in place in order to offer advice on managing stress and coping with difficult work situations.

Businesses providing more help from an earlier stage may find that the employee does not have to take time off in the long run, but can be supported in order to continue working.

Another report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development stated that stress is the second most common reason for short term absences from work.

Such a loss of productivity is not good for employees, companies or the economy in the UK and shows that there is room for significant improvement in the area.

Meanwhile scientists at Georgetown University have found that acupuncture reduces the levels of a protein which has been linked to stress.

Diane Buckley, managing director of Legal & General Group Protection, said: “Stress is one of the leading causes of long-term absence, so employers should ensure that good quality support is available in the workplace to help women before they reach this point.”