18.06.2007

MSDs and mental ill health top causes of work absence in the UK

Mental ill health is the second largest cause of time lost due to sickness
absence in UK organisations with stress, depression, and anxiety accounting for
over 50% of these mental health problems, according to a new report from the
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Active Health
Partners.

The findings ­ drawn from a unique analysis of the real absence records of
30,000 employees working across 40 different organisations ­ are captured in
the new report, 'New directions in managing employee absence'.

The number one cause of time lost due to sickness absence is musculoskeletal
conditions. However it is the evidence on mental ill health which the
Government will find particularly worrying in view of the huge increase in the
proportion of people claiming incapacity benefit over the last ten years who
have mental health problems.

The findings highlight the huge impact mental health problems have on the
workplace:

  • Employees take on average 21 days for each mental health related sickness
    absence spell
  • The average length of time off for an employee suffering depression is 30
    days for each sickness absence spell
  • The average length of time off work for someone suffering from stress is 21
    days for each sickness absence spell
  • The average length of time off for an individual suffering anxiety is 21 days
    for each sickness absence spell

More information


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work