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94% of Nottingham Trent University staff say workload impacts on their mental health

1 April 2019

Excessive workloads are taking their toll on the wellbeing of academic staff at Nottingham Trent University, with 94% of academic staff reporting that their workload has a negative impact on their mental health.

A report from the local UCU branch also revealed that workloads are making staff ill and encroaching on life outside of work. Half of staff (51%) said they found their workload unmanageable most of the time and three-quarters (75%) said sickness absences had gone up in their team in recent years. A similar amount (73%) said that workloads negatively impacted on their family life.

The union's findings tally with the university's own recent staff survey where only 9% of respondents said that they never felt stressed at work. UCU said the Nottingham Trent had to make tackling long hours a priority as it found that three-quarters (74%) of staff said they did at least six extra hours a week and three in 10 (29%) did more than 11 hours of unpaid overtime.

The long-hours culture and increased workloads in universities have been under the spotlight recently following the suicide of Cardiff University academic Dr Malcolm Anderson. The 48-year-old killed himself at the university last year and referred to work pressures and long hours in a note he left.

Nottingham Trent University UCU secretary Mark Weinstein said: 'This damning survey lifts the lid on intolerable workloads at Nottingham Trent University and the damage it is doing to people's health. Staff complain that working weekends and evenings is now the norm with huge strain being put on their personal lives.

'The extra work is leaving them exhausted and forcing people off sick. None of this is good for the staff, but it is also extremely damaging for students as their learning conditions are our working conditions.'

Key findings from the report include:

·         94% say workload has a negative impact on their mental health

·         86% say workload increased in past four years

·         75% say sickness absence in their team up over past four years

·         51% say workload unmanageable most of the time

·         73% say workload has a negative impact on family life

·         74% say they work at least six extra hours a week

·         29% say they work more than 11 extra hours a week

·         72% say workload stops them doing research during term-time


Last updated: 28 March 2019