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Blue Monday: South East, including West Berkshire, is the region suffering from the most work-related stress in England

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The third Monday of January is known as Blue Monday and in the South East, including West Berkshire, 30 per cent experience work-related stress on a weekly basis.

This puts West Berkshire in the most stressed region of England and third in the UK, after Wales (43%) and Northern Ireland (31%), according to a recent workplace stress study.

Scotland suffers the least work-related stress at just 8 per cent.

Blue Monday
Blue Monday

This year the 'January blues' – and general post-Christmas gloom – has been compounded further by the uncertainty surrounding Covid and the continuing rise of cases due to the Omicron variant.

People are still being advised by the Government to work from home where possible and this uncertainty could be converted into work-related stress for a lot of people.

Even without the government restrictions currently in place, work-related stress continues to cause serious problems for businesses, with the number of working days lost to stress, anxiety and depression growing steadily since 2017 to 54 per cent.

Work-related stress is compounded on Blue Monday
Work-related stress is compounded on Blue Monday

According to statistics from the most recent UK workplace stress study, a staggering 79 per cent of employed British adults experience workplace stress – 20 per cent higher than two years earlier.

The same survey also showed that the South East was the third most stressed region, with 30 per cent of people experiencing work-related stress on a weekly basis.

Head of the Employment Law Team at Wright Hassall Tina Chander said: “These statistics will be eye-opening for many employers in the South East, serving as a serious reminder of just how widespread and debilitating work-related stress is.

“Unfortunately for businesses, the emergence of the Omicron variant has led to a spike in the number of new cases, which has forced the Government to issue new guidance, including work from home measures, in order to slow the spread of the virus.

Work-related stress is compounded on Blue Monday
Work-related stress is compounded on Blue Monday

“Although many employees will have experienced such measures during the previous lockdowns, that doesn’t necessarily mean the impact will be any less disruptive this time round, especially if remote working interferes with an employee’s ability to communicate and collaborate with fellow colleagues.

“Therefore it is absolutely vital that employers do what they can to mitigate the risks associated with work-related stress, taking the time to understand the legal aspects surrounding the issue, while implementing procedures that will protect the interests of their workers.”

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