Employees in the public sector complain of suffering from stress to a greater extent than their private sector counterparts, it has been suggested.

A survey compiled by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development indicated that eight out of ten public sector workers who have taken sick leave from their roles cited stress, compared to six in ten private sector staff.

The research also found that, as a result of employees being absent through stress, the UK loses £3.8 million of taxpayers’ money each year, with the average annual cost of sickness per employee standing at £666.

Shadow minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: "More needs to be done to address these problems, not only to ensure that taxpayers’ money is properly spent but also to promote the wellbeing and job satisfaction of public workers," the Daily Express reports.

Recently, a spokesperson for the International Stress Management Association advised workers to take frequent breaks in order to reduce their levels of stress.