Stressed workers at three UK government departments took the equivalent of more than 125 years off sick last year. Staff at the Home Office, Department for Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) were absent for more than 46,000 days due to stress, anxiety or depression.
The Daily Mail reports that 30 million workers in Britain took a total of 15.2 million days off work for depression, anxiety and stress last year.
Employees across all sectors took an average of 0.5 days off due to the disorders, but the rates in government departments are much higher.
Staff at the DCLG and the Department for Education took an average of 1.8 days off, almost four times the national average.
This figure has also risen in the past five years, despite cuts in staff numbers.
A DCLG spokesman told the Daily Mail: “The civil service considers the long-term health of its staff to be of paramount importance.
“In April 2013 the Department introduced a new comprehensive policy for managing long-term sickness absence and offers a number of wellbeing services to staff.”
Staff at the Home Office, headed by Home Secretary Theresa May, took off a total of 37,950 days due to stress, anxiety of depression in 2012-13, and 45,182 in 2011-12. This includes people working at the central department and its outside branches, such as the UK Border Agency.
The ministry yesterday claimed the statistics were ‘unreliable’ because the recording of reasons for being off work had not been ‘standardised’ across departments.