Stress was reported most frequently by people in managerial and technical occupations, with teachers, nurses, managers, social workers, police and prison officers among the worst affected. Two out of five teachers reported high stress compared to one in five among the other groups.
The HSE report, The scale of occupational stress, was based on research carried out at the University of Bristol by a team led by Professor Anthony Smith. The sample revealed a higher level of stress among black respondents, although the authors cautioned that the number of ethnic minority respondents was low and therefore not necessarily representative.
A GMB report meanwhile shows a dramatic rise in the time taken to fill public sector job vacancies in the south-east. The most serious staff shortages were reported by the Employment Service district of Norfolk, with vacancies in public administration, defence and social services taking on average 37.5 weeks to fill. The survey covered the union's eastern district and inner London. Formerly high unemployment London boroughs such as Hackney, Southwark, Lambeth, Newham and Tower Hamlets all waited for at least 15 weeks on average to fill public administration and social services posts.
The GMB report says the root cause of the problem is the 25% pay gap with the private sector.
GMB senior organiser Roger Count said: 'In the GMB we have seen staff leaving hospitals and schools wholesale when a new superstore opens.'
-The scale of occupational stress costs£15. Tel: 01787 313 995.