Sunday, October 3, 1999 Published at 00:52 GMT 01:52 UK
Stress tops work sickness league
Some workers are being taught how to deal with stress
Stress is now the number one reason behind sickness from work - overtaking the common cold as the biggest cause of absence, a report says.
One third of employers are now providing stress counselling for employees because they are increasingly worried about the impact the problem will have on their business.
A report by business information group Gee Publishing says that one in five companies with more than 1,000 staff consider stress to be a "major problem".
'Too big to ignore'
Gee Publishing, which surveyed more than 300 organisations, found that a growing number of managers are being trained on how to recognise and reduce stress.
Some companies are issuing booklets to employees on how to cope with stress.
Gee Publishing's human resources manager, Sally Harper, said: "Growing evidence of the impact of stress on absence levels, coupled with recent legal awards against companies, seems to have made this problem too big to ignore."