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Is enough attention paid to workplace stress?

Employers need to pay more attention to the levels of stress and anxiety in the workplace, key NHS advisers say. Do you agree?

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said the cost of work-related mental illness was £28bn - a quarter of the UK's total sick bill. More than 13m working days a year are lost because of work-related stress, anxiety and depression.

Bad managers were the single biggest cause of problems, the group claimed. But it said simple steps such as giving positive feedback, allowing flexible working and giving extra days off as a reward could cut the impact by a third.

However, a spokesman for the Confederation of British Industry said: "The mental health of staff is something firms have been making a priority. More and more schemes have been set up to support staff in recent years."

Are there sufficient schemes in place to combat workplace stress? Have you felt your mental health has suffered because of workplace stress? Have you been granted flexible working conditions to assist your work/life balance?

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Published: Thursday, 5 November, 2009, 09:23 GMT 09:23 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:44 GMT 10:44 UK

Perhaps people who are stressed should consider another career path. Are you really cut out to do that job?

Put your home life first - you work to live not live to work.

My job if difficult at times but I have never suffered with stress even when the pressure is really on.

chezzaj, Peterborough

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:33 GMT 10:33 UK

I left my job at 60 due to stress generated by clueless managers who made the job I had done for 30 years impossible to do. Result? 5 years on benefits as there are no jobs out there for youngsters let alone those approaching retirement! If you are over 50 you don't even get a reply to applications.

Mustafa Fag, Eastbourne, United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:32 GMT 10:32 UK

Who ever said we could have perfect stress-free jobs? Stress is normal in jobs and so it should be its actually healthy for us to have a bit of stress. Its up to you, then secondly your line manager to ensure your not overloaded with stress. You want real stress join up and go fight in Afghanistan.

Christopher Davies, Chippenham, United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:31 GMT 10:31 UK

I am 20. The people have already been given excuses to ' bunk off ' now anyway so its the governments own fault. god knows how the people of 50 years ago coped with conditions and hours far worse than this!

Simon Fox, Sheffield, United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:21 GMT 10:21 UK

I'm always incredibly sceptical when I hear that someone is "stressed" to the point that they can't work.

We in the UK do benefit from maternity/paternity pay, holiday pay, and employment rights etc, and I think sometimes people need to be at least a little appreciative of this? The culture of "entitlement" that now exists in this country sickens me at times.

Nobody in the UK realistically lives with the fear that they and their children will die of starvation, now THAT must be stressful.

[elvis86], Manchester

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:19 GMT 10:19 UK

To all those that think stress is an excuse for laziness then let me tell you about my experience.

I have a PhD and 1st class BSc degree earnt through HARD WORK. Bad management in my job as a pharmaceutical scientist led to my depression and eventual loss of job.

Recently tried to retrain as a teacher but my nerves won out despite everyone saying I was good with pupils. Result, I'm now unemployed and virtually unemployable.

If you still don't get it then you are likely causing stress.

D Pressed, Sheffield

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:07 GMT 10:07 UK

I have sufferred in the past. Mainly through a nasty no good boss who did what he could to make me stressed. It is really down to the way we treat each other at work, not really the jobs themselves.

Rob, London

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:03 GMT 10:03 UK

I work in mental health and I'm really busy at the minute (mind you, I'm never not busy).

There is a lot more people feeling that pressure of work is a very big contributor to there problems, so no is the answer.

And so much could be done for very little, if only the funding was put into it.

Paul C

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:01 GMT 10:01 UK

It is fair to say that most employers are aware of this issue and have policies to deal with it. The problem is that in a climate of squeezed profits and recession employers are demanding more from less employees. It is called "improving productivity" but takes no account of employee health, stamina or capacity. It is a "more work and less play" philosophy that ultimately will fail as rather than increasing output per head it adds to stress, increases working hours and will cause ill health.

R COPE, MINEHEAD

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 10:01 GMT 10:01 UK

No, there isn't enough done about workplace stress.

In a past position I worked in Prisons & on one occasion was threatened by eight prisoners. I managed to walk away, quickly picking up my tools, unlocking the gate and getting out of the unit. There were no other staff on the unit at the time.
I didn't receive any kind of help and instead it was swept under the carpet.
I have had problems with stress & depression ever since this happened.

Les N, Bury, Lancashire., United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 09:59 GMT 09:59 UK

"The general standard of management in this country is appalling. Managers set impossible goals and then ride their employees to exhaustion. Once you are of no apparent use you are cast aside."
[peexbee]

Most managers I know never trained to be managers. They might be motivated individuals who also manage to please the higher ranks (rather than question them) and so get promoted. They get used to their new salary and will do anything to keep hold of it...

[guthier], Oxford, United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 09:53 GMT 09:53 UK

Britains workplace has become a nightmare of bullying and political sadism - don't believe it?

Ask anyone who works in the NHS or the Post Office for starters.

This reflects the broken and collapsed state of social cohesion and national purpose - brought about by the fear culture of PC control, mindless measurement, regulation, bans and the politicisation of human relationships.

The evil of 10 years of the New Labour project!

Right On the rise

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 09:37 GMT 09:37 UK

Good firms treat their employees as "assets" to be looked after. Bad companies treat employees as disposable and easily replaceable.
It's the Trade Unions who can help balance work/life by advice and negotiation to employers. The CBI also needs to do much more to promote better staff management at all levels.

I want my country back NOW, Spalding,, United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 09:35 GMT 09:35 UK

The degree of stress in the workplace has been exacerbated by NuLabour destruction of the jobs market, low wages and aggressive management techniques.

There are employers that allow their employees to be treated in a despicable way and even though there are laws in place to prevent it is almost impossible to do anything other than go through a very stressful court case which is then dependent on the quality of the legal team involved.

MPs are well protected though!! Well done NuLabour!

PLK OK, Reading, United Kingdom

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Added: Friday, 6 November, 2009, 09:35 GMT 09:35 UK

Stress? Everyone has their own idea of it. Just a general term for when life presents challenges, which it always will.

Hitting those sales targets really not quite the same as avoiding being killed in Afghanistan is it?!!

Molivers One

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DEBATE STATUS

Total comments:
520
Published comments:
499
Rejected comments:
21
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