INDUSTRY Stress mounts in workplace

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The Independent Online
Workplace stress has caused a 90 per cent increase in insurance claims for mental and psychological illness over the last five years, with the medical profession and teachers hardest hit, according to a report published yesterday.

UNUM, one of the biggest insurers providing protection for employees against loss of income, found that one in five of its claimants had been off work for at least six months because of severe anxiety and depression. The company said that employers were becoming more demanding as working methods changed and staff numbers were cut back.

Another study found that British employees were reporting higher stress levels than colleagues in Continental countries. The poll of 5,000 workers by the Harris Research Centre, said that a half of British respondents reported increasing stress levels, compared with 41 per cent in France, 38 per cent in Germany, 33 per cent in Italy and 22 per cent in Spain.