Britons need their lunch breaksHR departments may wish to keep a keen eye out for any workers who are not taking their allotted breaks, after it was revealed some UK employees are missing their lunch break due to stress and feeling under pressure to get their job done.

Jane Bird, director of operational policy and performance at Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), said that the Health and Safety Executive has identified excessive demands placed on employees as one of the six main causes of workplace stress.

She added: "Managers can play a key role in reducing pressure and stress by actively encouraging their staff to take breaks and by setting an example and doing so themselves."

By ensuring people were taking entitled breaks, staff productivity is likely to increase, Ms Bird asserted.

Her comments come after research from Spar found that around seven million workers skip their lunch breaks, with more than 70 per cent of the UK workforce not leaving their desk to eat.

Absence Management 2010