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Work-Related Stress

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

New framework agreement presented to the European Commission by social partners

Stress at work costs the UK economy 7 billion pounds each year through sick pay, lost production and NHS costs and workplace stress is on the increase according to the TUC. Three in five workers (58%) now complain of being stressed at work: an increase of 2% on 2002. The main reasons cited for stress are increased workloads; change in the workplace; staffing cuts; long hours and bullying. After nine months of negotiations the social partners, representing European employers and workers, have signed a framework agreement on work-related stress. The agreement aims at increasing the understanding of employers and employees of work-related stress and proposes a method for identifying problems and dealing with them. The social partners - the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE), the European Association of Craft Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME) and the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) - say:

'Stress is a concern for both employers and workers. Approximately 28% of European Union workers report work-related stress each year. The agreement we [have] signed aims at addressing these problems in order to improve well-being of workers and increase companies' efficiency.'

For more information please see the framework agreement on the ETUC website. More information on stress at work can be also be found on the TUC's website. Please use the Word download links below to view: a CSP Employment Relations & Union Services (ERUS) briefing on stress, a model policy and a workplace questionnaire on stress.

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