Stress most common cause of absence, says CIPDNew research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has revealed that stress is the most common cause of employee absence across both the private and the public sectors.

According to the latest absence survey carried out by the organisation in conjunction with private healthcare firm Simplyhealth, more than one-third of employers reported an increase in the number of staff taking time off due to stress-related illnesses.

"The survey shows why closing the gap between public and private sector absence has proved so difficult," said CIPD adviser Dr Jill Miller. "Compared to the private sector, more public sector employees are in challenging public-facing roles."

She added that the government's ongoing cuts to public spending are likely to result in more structural upheaval at public sector bodies, adding to the worries of public sector workers.

Last week, Mind Strengths consultant Ian Barratt told the Metro that it is important for employers to ensure they have adequate stress-busting techniques in place.