Stress-related absences up 64% in 2020

Healthcare and government services saw the biggest increase in leave rates as the pandemic piled pressure on their respective industries

Stress-related absences in 2020 rose 64% when compared to the previous year’s levels, according to research conducted by cloud-based absence management and intelligence platform, e-days.

The firm’s “stress by sector” research found that the healthcare sector leads the way for the highest number of stress-related absences at 0.64 days per year.

A 146% year-on-year rise in those absences within the sector has been attributed by e-days to the increasing pressure that the industry has faced during the pandemic.

Moreover, with government and international affairs the second highest rate of absence (0.57 days), Brexit planning and the Covid crisis have reportedly caused a 39% increase in stress-related leave.

The data also found that HR and staffing professionals have seen a 70% increase in stress absences.

Steve Arnold, CEO at e-days, said: “Whilst the rapid rise in stress-related appointments is alarming it is sadly not surprising, but with HR leaders also struggling, we must recognise there is a perfect storm going on.

“The truth is during this pandemic the majority are probably working more than ever, and HRs themselves need to call in support services to help.”

He added that more attention needs to be paid to those who “need to book absence” but struggle to do so as they are working remotely.

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