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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 00:30 GMT 01:30 UK
Workplaces 'getting more stressful'
Stressed man
Stress in the workplace is on the increase
Britain's workplaces are becoming increasingly stressful and few managers are accepting responsibility for the problem, a new survey has shown.

The report, commissioned by the UK's biggest private sector union, Amicus, has been released at the start of a TUC campaign to combat stress and bullying.

The survey of 2,000 union health and safety representatives from across the economy found half believed stress was a bigger problem than five years ago, and a similar number said it had got worse in the last 12 months.


Employers need to look closely at the hours their staff are working and how their work and home lives are balanced

Roger Lyons, Amicus

Amicus said three out of four of the officials it surveyed had raised stress-related issues with their employers, but only one in three firms accepted responsibility of tackling the problem.

Most employers would rather deal with the symptoms rather than the causes, with few offering to reduce hours or introduce flexible working the survey found.

Joint general secretary of Amicus Roger Lyons said: "Stress needs to be dealt with by looking for the causes and not by simply patching up the injured soldiers of the workplace.

"Employers need to look closely at the hours their staff are working and how their work and home lives are balanced."

Quick fix

The union urged firms to start tackling stress by cutting down on long hours and bullying rather than looking at "quick fix" solutions such as stress management courses.

The TUC is launching a campaign to prevent stress and bullying.

General secretary John Monks said the condition was so serious that it could lead to mental and physical illnesses.

Unison has also launched a new guide giving advice to workers and managers on how to prevent stress, to mark the start of this week's European Health and Safety Week.

The union's head of health and safety Hugh Robertson, said it was in the interests of workers and employers to eliminate stress, which is now the biggest cause of workplace absence.

See also:

22 Sep 02 | Business
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23 Aug 02 | Business
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