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The 2012 CIPD survey of absence management, just published, shows that the average number of sick days taken by UK employees has fallen over the past year from 7.7 days to 6.8 days. But stress-related absences have shown an increase.

One perception is that more employees are coming to work when they are ill – presenteeism -especially where job cuts are planned.

Dr Jill Miller for CIPD comments: “We are seeing employees struggling into work to demonstrate their commitment, suggesting presenteeism can be a sign of anxiety. Failing to address employees’ concerns is likely to confound the issue, impact on morale and commitment and may cause or exacerbate stress or mental health problems.”