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Work/life balance ranked top health worry

6 January 2012

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The search for a good work/life balance has been ranked the top health issue plaguing UK workers, a survey reveals.

Research from industry body Group Risk Development (GRiD) shows employees are more worried about the absence of a good work/life balance (21%) than stress and/or mental health issues (19%) – conditions that are currently cited as the most common causes of workplace absence.

Encouragingly, almost one in four employers surveyed said they plan to take steps to improve work/life balance in 2012 as a “top priority”.

By comparison, 27% said actively managing workplace stress was their “key goal”.

“A strong work/life balance is often overlooked as a major health issue to businesses, compared to more direct factors such as dealing with chronic conditions,” said Katharine Moxham, a spokesperson for GRiD.

“But, the economic situation seems to have provided a timely reminder for businesses to take action to rectify unsustainable working practice.

“In times of increased economic pressure it is particularly important for employers to consider the impact a long hours culture can have on the wellbeing of their employees and to develop strategies for dealing with the fall out such as, for example, increased stress related absence.”

Over 32% of employers surveyed said their absence rate has improved over the last year with 50% believing their absence rate to be lower than the industry average.