Page | 10 place to monitor the effectiveness of these preventative measures in managing workplace stress or to assess employer’s adherence to these recommendations (Health and Safety Authority, 2018). In 2015, Mercer Consultants undertook a study of over 2,000 employees in Ireland the Great Britain to capture the incidence of workplace stress and to determine the factors that are contributing to employee stress. This study found that 82% of Irish employees surveyed experience regular stress and 4 out of 5 adults surveyed stated that their stress levels are on the rise. As a result of this study, Mercer’s analysis highlights that the stress and anxiety experienced by Irish employees is contributing to reduced concentration (64%), reduced job satisfaction (59%) and lower employee productivity (44%). When asked about the factors which contribute to their stress, survey respondents listed “health, providing for family, planning for retirement, and meeting the cost of household bills” as the main issues which influence their level of stress; with 60% employees who were surveyed stating that they would welcome more support from their employer in helping them to manage their stress. When asked to identify they types of supports that would help, these employees mentioned support with financial planning and budgeting (61%), advice on pensions and support in planning for retirement (59%); and access to online training and development (58%) as some of the key supports that employers could provide to help to reduce their level of work-related stress (Mercer, 2015). When we analyse the results of a study on workplace stress commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Ireland in 2016, we learn that in 2013, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) - affecting different parts of the body used for movement including the skeleton, muscles, tendons and ligaments - is responsible for the overwhelming majority of absences, at 50%. This was followed next the rate of absenteeism resulting from work-related stress, anxiety and depression (SAD), which stood at 18% of all absences in 2013. Findings from this research estimate that the average length of absence in 2013 was 17 days for SAD and 15.9 days for MSD; with the average duration for all other types of work related illness was 12.8 days. This study used data from Quarterly Household surveys from 2002 until 2013, inclusive, to analyse the factors contributing to the rate of absenteeism as a result of SAD and MSD. Here, researchers found that in general, women are at higher risk than men of developing SAD as a result of their work; with 5.8% per 1,000 female employees reportedly suffering with work- related SAD; compared to only 4% per 1,000 male employees. Employees in the education sector, followed by health, public administration, transport and “other services”, including finance, information and communications are at highest risk of developing work-related illnesses. The sectors of agriculture, construction and industry have the lowest risk levels, while individuals who are self-employed have a lower risk of SAD than employees. This study also found that employees who work over 50 hours per week are 3 times more likely to experience SAD than those working less than 30 hours. And employees who work shift-hours are at the greatest risk of developing SAD illnesses. This extensive survey conducted by ESRI also makes recommendations to address the rise in incidence of workplace stress, anxiety and depression in Ireland. Specifically, ESRI researchers recommend that there is a need to highlight the importance of positive mental health among Irish employees and also to address the “long- hour” culture that is becoming increasingly common in Irish workplaces (Russel, Maitre &Watson, 2016). Stress Management in Spain The economy of Spain is primarily a service-based economy with almost three quarters of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) being generated in the services sector; with the sectors of industry and energy responsible for almost 18% and the agriculture and fishery industry making up approximately 2.5% of GDP (Economy, 2016). One major issue affecting the economy in the past few years is that the construction industry has seen a stark decline since the property market collapsed in 2007. This problem was exacerbated by the economic recession which followed in 2009. These two factors