A survey carried out by healthcare insurer Medicash has found that 20% of men, four times more than women, admitted to taking two sick days in the past month because of stress.

The survey found stress to be a major problem for employees, with 31% of women and 24% of men saying they often feel stressed. For women, dealing with difficult customers or clients was found to be the most common cause, whereas men cited a heavy workload as the top trigger.

These findings highlight the employers' duty to look after their workforce and to have systems in place that tackle work related stress. Encouraging a work/life balance and open communication between staff and managers, as well as providing a confidential counselling service for larger employers, can help reduce employees' work related stress which could potentially lead to staff taking fewer sick days.