A third of family physicians in the United Kingdom have noticed a sharp increase in people requesting doctors’ notes to be off work for at least seven days, according to a new survey.
Nearly all, 94 per cent, of those surveyed blamed employers for failing to take responsibility for workers' health and wellbeing.
They warned the current £13-billion-a-year bill for absenteeism could soar without better help for employees.
The Norwich Union Healthcare survey polled about 250 general practitioners and human resources specialists at 214 businesses across the UK.
The survey found the major health problems affecting workers are stress (76 per cent), back problems (63 per cent) and depression (57 per cent).
Forty-two percent of companies said they had struggled with key members of staff being off for long periods of time, however, only 38 per cent of companies said employee wellbeing is an HR priority.
Forty-three per cent said they chose to manage health issues on a case-by-case basis and 70 per cent said employees' health is not their responsibility.