Press releases

Legal & General reveal 83% of employers offer no stress management advice or support to employees.

Diane Buckley - Managing Director - Group Risk
Diane Buckley
Managing Director
Group Risk

03 August 2011

Diane Buckley - Managing Director - Group Risk
Diane Buckley
Managing Director
Group Risk

The new DWP Survey, 'Health and well-being at work: a survey of employers' has shown that only 17% of employers have any form of stress management advice and support in place.

Legal & General have previously looked into short and long term absences in the workplace showing that;

Short-term stress-related absences topped 42,000 in the three months to December last year
Of the 593,930 people claiming the Employment and Support Allowance, 234,670 (39%) are doing so for mental and behavioural disorders.

Furthermore, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) absence management annual survey report recently highlighted that stress is the second biggest cause of short term absences and one of the leading cause of all long-term absences for non-manual workers.

Legal & General's analysis has been conducted at a time when the government is undertaking a review on the way it handles absence in the workplace. The review, announced by the Department of Work and Pensions, is led by Dame Carol Black and David Frost.

It ties in with recent figures released by Legal & General showing that its Group Income Protection, Workplace Recovery, can markedly increase return to work rates.

The protection has been particularly effective at providing specialist treatment to employees who are absent from work because of stress. Where appropriate they are offered between 8 and 20 sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) from CBT Services Limited, a highly-respected provider with 68% of employees being able to return to work within a year.

The figures show that specialist support can help employers and employees. CBT have commented on how they work with people who are dealing with mental health issues every day – who tell them how important this approach can be in helping them get back into the workplace.

Commenting on the findings, Diane Buckley, Managing Director of Legal & General Group Income Protection, said:

"These figures show that employers should ensure that good quality support is available in the workplace to help employees. It is concerning that 83% of employers have no provisions in place to deal with stress related illnesses. Legal & General have developed an effective Group Income Protection package that offers tailored support to absentees' many of whom are suffering from stress-related conditions."


Notes to editors

Legal & General's approach to getting people back to work

Every year, around 350,000 make a transition from work to incapacity benefits - many of these people could, and want, to go back to work (Working for a Healthier Britain, Dame Carol Black's Review Of The Health Of Britain's Working Age Population, March 2008). Responsible employers can look after their staff by supplementing state sickness pay with enhanced and prolonged sick pay at a reasonable cost. Legal & General's Group Income Protection cover, Workplace Recovery, can provide additional benefits in the form of early intervention and rehabilitation to help employees back into the workforce more quickly and effectively.

Group Protection (or Group Risk) benefits are provided by employers to their employees. They provide employee benefits that are paid if an employee dies in service or while they are unable to work because of illness or injury. The Group Protection market covers approximately 1.8 million people for income protection insurance and over 7.3 million people for life insurance cover. Legal & General's Group Income Protection policy, Workplace Recovery, has a proven track-record of helping employees make the journey back into work. Our Group Protection portfolio is already large and growing. Each year, we receive over 2,000 new absence notifications and we also pay benefit to around 1,800 employees.

The need for specialist intervention: 15% of GPs often see patients who have been dismissed from their job during an illness

Britain's family doctors routinely see patients who have been dismissed from their job during an illness. The findings, in research conducted by ComRes on behalf of Legal & General and released in March 2011, show how some employers are struggling to manage workplace ill health and absence. The survey also shows that 50% of GPs saw patients who have been dismissed from their job during an illness 'a few times a year'.

The Government's sickness and absence review

These survey figures are released at a time when the government is beginning to review the way it handles absence in the workplace. The review, announced by the Department of Work and Pensions, is led by Dame Carol Black and David Frost.

The review, which is jointly sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, will include a panel of experts from business, trade unions and health representatives and will be conducted in the context of the Growth Agenda.
It will also feed into the wider Employment Law Review, which is looking at measures to reduce red tape and remove the burdens on business, encourage growth and maximise flexibility for employers and employees.

Also announced is an additional £12 million of funding for health and work programmes, including the Fit for Work Service and Occupational Health Advice lines. Both have already proved highly successful in providing support for both employers and individuals in the early stages of sickness absence.

Data from the Department of Work and Pensions

A copy of the DWP report 'Health and well-being at work: a survey of employers' can be found here.

All DWP statistics can be found via the Tabulation Tool here.

Short-term absence data

Employment and Support Allowance data

Employment and Support Allowance Caseload (Thousands) : IB ICD (disease) code by Gender of claimant

Gender of claimant


Caseload (Thousands)
Caseload (Thousands)
Caseload (Thousands)


IB ICD (disease) code

Claimants without any diagnosis code on the system

Certain Infectious and Parasitic Diseases


Diseases of the Blood and Blood forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism

Endocrine, Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases

Mental and Behavioural Disorders

Diseases of the Nervous System

Diseases of the Eye and Adnexa

Diseases of the Ear and Mastoid Process

Diseases of the Circulatory System

Diseases of the Respiratory System

Diseases of the Digestive System

Diseases of the Skin and Subcutaneous System

Diseases of the Musculoskeletal system a