Wednesday 23 January 2019

We're paid more than ever - but stressed out too

  • Workers earning more than ever - but stress levels soared fastest out of 10 EU countries
  • New figures from CSO show average worker's pay has reached a high point of almost €39,000
  • Workplace stress doubled from 8pc in 2010 to 17pc in 2015, according to the ESRI
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: PA
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: PA

Anne-Marie Walsh

Workers are earning more than ever before - but their stress levels soared fastest out of 10 EU countries following the recession.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show the average worker's pay has reached a high point of almost €39,000, as earnings soared by 8pc in the past five years, and have peaked at their highest since official records began a decade ago.

Average wages now stand at €745.09 a week - equating to a yearly salary of €38,878. It also means the average worker is being taxed at the higher rate.

However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has promised to raise the tax band between 2019 and 2024.

At present, people can earn up to €35,550 before being hit with the higher tax rate.

Mr Varadkar promised to raise this ceiling to €50,000 over five years - meaning an extra €3,000 in the pocket of an employee earning up to that amount.

However, while salaries are on the rise, so too are our stress levels.

Workplace stress doubled from 8pc in 2010 to 17pc in 2015, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Employees in the health sector, public administration and manufacturing experience the highest levels of stress. Those in professional jobs and managers are most at risk.

"Job stress is becoming a more important issue in the Irish workplace as the economy becomes increasingly service-based," said Dr Helen Russell, an author of the report.

Last year, a survey by Eurofound revealed that Irish people work 90 hours more per year than the EU average.

It said Irish workers, on average, get 20 days holidays every year, compared to 25.7 days for workers in 15 EU member states. Adding public holidays, 'high-leave' countries include Croatia with 41 leave days, Denmark with 39 and Germany with 37. Ireland is ranked with Estonia and Hungary with 28 days annual leave.

Irish Independent

Also in Business