Markel staff are to be given stress awareness training to help them understand the subject and to avoid stress blighting their own lives.

Markel recruitment and training specialist Ella Gosling said the training will be delivered via web-based modules, and will focus on techniques to deal with the problem. Staff will be tested to ensure compliance.

Gosling said the training would enable the company to comply with the HSE's new stress management standards and help raise awareness of the subject in the financial services sector as a whole.

She said: "The programme will enable people to understand the illness better and also recognise their own threshold for stress.

"This is an important area for us because stress is becoming more common in the workplace."