Work Related Stress

Work-related stress, anxiety and depression represent a significant percentage of work-related health conditions in Great Britain.

Work Related Stress Statistics UK

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According to HSE’s (Health & Safety Executive) Work Related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2015 report, stress accounted for 35% of all work related ill health cases – or 43% of working days lost due to ill health (9.9 million days total).

The breakdown of work related mental ill health diagnoses shows stress, anxiety and depression dominating the total cases:

  • Anxiety / Depression: 37%
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): 0%
  • Other Stress: 56%
  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse: 3%
  • Other Diagnoses: 2%
  • Other Stress Symptoms: 2%

Those most affected by work related stress often do not display signs of anxiety or depression. Stress at work is commonly caused by workload pressures such as tight deadlines, too much responsibility and lack of managerial support.

Occupations with highest levels of stress are ones common across public service industries such as education, health and social care, public administration and defence. Roles include health, teaching, business, media and public service professionals. Large enterprises (more than 250 employees) have the highest prevalence rate of work related stress with 1550 cases per 100,000 employed, in comparison to medium (less than 250 employees) with 1280 cases and small enterprises (less than 50 employees) with 910 cases per 100,000 employed.

The demographic that most suffers from work related stress, anxiety and depression are females between 45 to 54 years of age, but the figures across all age groups show women as more prone to stress than men.

Age Groups Male Female
All 1160 1790
16 – 24 500 990
25 – 34 1120 1630
35 – 44 1250 2090
45 – 54 1530 2180
55+ 1070 1660

Work related stress claims are rare, despite the large numbers, due to the stigma attached to admission of stress. It can often feel like you’re “failing” at your job. Due to work-related stress being difficult to prove, claims can be difficult to win in court. But this doesn’t mean that the risks should be ignored, and managers and employers need to be sensitive to workers’ conditions and come across as approachable should an employee be suffering stress, anxiety or depression.


Work related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2015 by the Health and Safety Executive

Defining a case of work-related stress, prepared by the Institute of Work, Health and Organisations for the Health and Safety Executive:

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