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Gloucestershire Business News

Millions of work days lost to stress

An estimated 1.8 million people in Great Britain suffered a work-related illness last year, according to the latest figures.

Stress, depression and anxiety made up around half of the cases, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) annual statistics on work-related ill health and workplace injuries.

The figures from Great Britain's workplace regulator show there were an estimated 914,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22.

An estimated 17 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22. This is over half of all working days lost due to work-related ill health.

HSE has been warning of a growing crisis in stress and poor mental health related to work. The regulator launched a major campaign last year to remind employers of their responsibilities to their employees' mental health.

Sarah Albon, HSE's chief executive, said: "Stress and poor mental health is the number one cause of work-related ill health. The effects of stress, depression and anxiety can have a significant impact on an employee's life and on their ability to perform their best at work.

"Britain is one of the safest places in the world to work, but we need all employers to do more and take seriously their responsibilities to support good mental health at work. That's why improving mental health in the workplace is a key priority in our 10-year strategy, Protecting People and Places, and why we're developing new partnerships across industry to help employers support their employees."

HSE's annual statistics release shows the impact work-related ill health is having on Great Britain's economic performance:

• 36.8 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2021/22

• The annual economic cost of work-related injury and new cases of ill health (excluding long latency illnesses such as cancer) was £18.8 billion in 2019/20

The figures also show that 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2021/22 and a further 565,000 workers sustained a non-fatal injury.

The pandemic continues to impact on the workplace. Of the 1.8 million suffering a work-related illness, an estimated 585,000 reported it was caused or made worse by the effects of Covid-19.

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