HSE: 44% of work-related stress caused by high workload


According to figures from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), 44% of stress or depression at work is caused by high workload.

The HSE figures also show 23% of full-time employees admit to feeling burned out at work all the time.

In 2017 alone, the HSE estimates around 15.4 million working days were lost due to work-related stress or anxiety.

Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work.

As the government agency responsible for workplace health, safety and welfare, the HSE is working to reduce work-related stress through “communication, partnerships, regulatory work in the highest-risk sectors and evidence-based interventions”.

April is National Stress Awareness Month. Employers and employees alike are being encouraged to take stock and look at ways to improve mental wellbeing in the workplace.

The HSE states that employers have a ‘employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it’, to identify and tackle key factors that are leading to stress, anxiety and burnout related to the workplace, and acting on the findings.

Flexible working options for improved work–life balance, employee assistance programmes, staff surveys and focus groups to identify causes as well as training for line managers to manage stress are among the most common methods used to manage stress in the workplace.

The HSE has also recently launched a ‘Talking toolkit’ to help managers talk with their employees about stress risks and help them to prevent work-related stress.


HSE: 44% of work-related stress caused by high workload 1

Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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