Employers are being warned that the ongoing credit crunch could lead to an increase in mental health problems among their workforce.

According to the Shaw Trust, rising fuel prices and fear of job cuts, as well as greater pressure to meet targets at work, could cause an increase stress levels.

Stress and anxiety can "act as a trigger" for more serous mental health conditions, the body claims, which could have an extremely negative impact on productivity.

Tim Cooper, managing director of the Shaw Trust, said: "Every day we are hearing new reports on the increasing strain employees are being placed under."

He said employers need to be aware of the early earning signs of mental ill-health and try to create a more relaxed working environment for their employees.

The latest labour market outlook survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reveals that 27 per cent of employers are considering making redundancies during the third quarter of this year.