New analysis has found that poor mental health is costing employers up to £45 billion each year.
This number has increased by 16% since 2016, amounting to an extra £6 billion per year spent on mental health each year.
The analysis, from Deloitte, also looks at ways that employers can tackle this growing problem.
In ‘Mental health and employers: the case for refreshing investment’, the research looks at the things employers can do to alleviate these serious issues for their employees.
It found that it pays to support employee’s mental health and on average, every £1 spent on supporting the mental wellbeing of staff will see employers get £5 back on their investment by way of reduced absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover.
Rebecca George OBE, Deloitte Vice Chair and UK Public Sector leader, said it pays for employers to invest in the wellebing of employees.
She said: “As our ways of working evolve, so do expectations of employers about how we should support our people.
“This analysis shows very clearly that it pays for employers to provide mental health support at work and that early intervention is vital, for those experiencing poor mental health and employers alike.”
The analysis also highlights that early interventions are key if return on investment is to be achieved; important steps include organisation-wide culture change and education, while in-depth support may be needed later on if a person is struggling.
A complex picture has been painted by the analysis, revealing people with poor mental health are working when they clearly aren’t at their most productive, rather than taking much-needed time off.
It highlights leaveism and presenteeism as characteristics of an ‘always-on’ culture, enabled by technology.
The improvement in technology can have a negative effect, as the author of the analysis, Elizabeth Hampson explains: “Our research finds that, while an increased use of technology can enhance working practices, having the ability to work outside of normal hours can add to the challenge of maintaining good mental health, and make it hard for some to disconnect from an ‘always-on’ culture.
“The costs of this are significant, for those with poor mental health and for UK employers, and we hope this analysis can help both.”