How much does poor mental health cost UK businesses each year?
Recent research by Deliotte has found that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion per year – a rise of 16% since 2016, which equates to an extra £6 billion per year.
This shows it has never been more important for employers to support their employees’ mental health. On average, for every £1 spent on supporting their people’s mental health, employers get £5 (some places report as high as £34) back on their investment through reduced sick days, absenteeism and staff turnover.
Alongside this, the correct support can also improve productivity and help to build teamworking and communication skills, whilst preventing isolation and helping new staff members integrate into the team.
Although there has definitely been improvement compared to previous years’ research, showcased mainly through a greater openness in discussing mental health at work, costs continue the climb. This can be attributed to a significant rise in ‘presenteeism’, which is where employees continue to work when they are not at their most productive due to mental health related issues – potentially driven by the ‘always-on’ culture that is enabled by technology.
Young people are the most vulnerable demographic in theworkplace
The research also highlights that recent studies show a higher prevalence of mental health problems among younger people, with them emerging as the most vulnerable demographic in the workplace to poor mental health.
It finds that employers lose the equivalent of 8.3% of the salaries of those aged 18-29 as a result of poor mental health, with young people also less likely to disclose any mental health problems to employers.
What can employers do?
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said “Smart, forward-thinking employers are investing in staff wellbeing, and those who do tend to save money in the long run. This report shows the link between prioritising staff wellbeing and improved loyalty and productivity; and decreased sickness absence and resignations. However, it also shows a rise in 'presenteeism' – unwell staff spending unproductive hours at work rather than taking time off."
He went on to say “As presenteeism costs three times more than sick leave, we need to look at supporting employers to change the culture, so their staff feel able to take time off when they are unwell. The Government must also play their part by improving the definition of disability under the Equality Act, so more people with mental health problems can benefit from its rights and protections, as well as increasing the amount of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) staff receive when they’re off sick. Employers can access resources to help prevent poor mental health and promote wellbeing through the Mental Health at Work Commitment."
What are we doing?
We’ve already held our first driver wellbeing session and have now booked in our second session which is for drivers, covering the subject of 'how do you feel about the amount of available parking for your truck?' which takes place on Wednesday 6th May 2020 at 2pm. If you'd like to attend, please sign up here.
If you’re struggling or have suggestions on areas we can cover that will help, feel free to get in touch with our team here.