26 October 2017
Workplace mental ill-health costing UK firms £42bn
Mental ill-health is costing employers up to £42 billion every year, a new report suggests.
According to a major independent review of workplace mental health by Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, commissioned by Theresa May, one in six employees are battling mental health issues.
The Thriving at Work review estimates around 300,000 workers with a long-term history of mental health issues lose their jobs each year.
Companies outlay £8 billion each year through unnecessarily high turnover of staff with mental health issues, the report finds.
Additional costs in sickness absence also accounts for £8 billion to employers.
However, so-called "presenteeism" can be costing up to £26 billion, with employees coming into work despite mental health issues, resulting in a loss of productivity.
The report gives recommendations for employers to improve mental health for its workers, which in addition to protecting staff well-being, will also cut costs and drive profits.
The recommendations include:
- To produce and implement a workplace mental health policy and ensure it's communicated to all staff
- Make staff aware of symptoms and consequences of poor mental health
- Support provisions put in place for any workers who may be struggling
- Good working conditions that will promote healthy mental wellbeing
- Effective people management – this can be as simple as asking, "how are you feeling?".
- Routine monitoring of employee mental health, such as staff surveys or one-to-one well-being chats
"It's time for every employer to recognise their responsibilities and affect change, so that the UK becomes a world leader in workplace wellbeing for all staff and in supporting people with mental health problems to thrive at work," says Lord Stevenson.