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Good employee health makes good business sense

26 March 2020 | 2 min read

Mental ill-health in the workplace is estimated to cost Britain's economy around £30 billion every year. And while mental ill-health is not merely a financial concern, understanding the direct costs to the economy can make for a persuasive argument when building a case for investment in prevention.

Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the workplace. The Health and Safety Executive’s published statistics note that 595,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/18 ...this adds up to a total of 15.4 million working days lost between 2017/18 [1]. Although the direct cost to British economy is estimated to be £30 billion every year through lost production, recruitment and absence [2] this is the tip of the iceberg. The total cost of mental health problems across the UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) is as high as £225 billion per year, which represents 12.1% of the UK's total GDP. [3]

Optimising the work environment to ensure positive mental health is known to reduce absence due to sickness and other medical conditions [4], and therefore improve productivity. This is especially relevant in working environments where regular face to face contact is minimal, which can be far more prevalent in business today where flexible working arrangements are more the norm. In these cases, vulnerable employees may feel isolated and not seek help.

Just as any business develops a strategy for its growth and development, as part of your people strategy it’s as important to include an approach to ensure the sustained positive mental health of your employees. At the end of the day, good employee health is conducive to good business.

RPS’ Occupational Health team works with clients to ensure that employee mental health requirements are being met. We have many methods to support clients, including:

  • case management appointments with our experienced clinical team,
  • and mental health resilience programs including how to spot signs of mental ill-health at work and workplace wellbeing sessions.

Our specialist team takes a collaborative approach, empowering you with the key information and clinical guidance required to tackle stress in the workplace.


References:

[1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf
[2] http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6065  
[3] https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/how-to-support-mental-health-at-work.pdf
[4] Wagner SL, Koehn C, White MI et al. Mental Health Interventions in the Workplace and Work Outcomes: A Best Evidence Synthesis of Systematic Reviews. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2016 Jan 7(1):1-14

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