The UK government has put the issue of mental health at work firmly on their agenda and there’s growing recognition amongst employers of the importance of supporting their employees and promoting good workplace mental health.

Given this, over the summer, we’re going to be publishing a series of weekly blogs on this topic, providing practical information and advice on how smaller employers can foster mentally healthy workplace environments that work for everyone. 

Nicole Squires MA, MCIPD, MBACP, Head of Employee Wellbeing & Engagement at People Based Solutions.

The issue of workplace mental health and wellbeing is particularly close to my heart as I’ve sat on both sides of the fence –  as a  HR professional and as a fully qualified Counsellor and Therapist. I’m, therefore, aware of the devastating impact that poor mental health can have on the lives of individuals and their families, but equally, I appreciate the everyday pressures that employers face when managing situations where employee mental health issues arise.

In the first of these blogs, I look at the costs to employers of mental-ill health and, therefore, the business case for supporting mental health in the workplace.  You will find a summary of the blog below, or click here to read the full version…

Future blogs will cover other relevant issues, including: practical steps for smaller employers to support workplace wellbeing; spotting the signs of mental-ill health; managing neurodiversity in the workplace and supporting absent employees with mental health conditions.

Mental health at work: the cost of doing nothing

According to the Centre for Mental Health (CMH) about one in six people will experience mental health conditions like anxiety, depression and unmanageable stress. In the past five years, employers have cited stress as the number one reason given by employees who take time off work.  So mental health is very clearly an important issue for every organisation in the UK.  CMH research provides tangible evidence of the detrimental effect that poor mental health has on business productivity, estimating that the total cost to UK employers is £34.9 billion each year. This includes the costs of sickness absences related to mental health issues and ‘presenteeism’ i.e. employees turning up to work when unwell, as well as recruitment costs for replacing employees suffering with mental health conditions who are unable to return to work. Employers who fail to manage mental health at work effectively also risk financial losses, as well as damage to their reputation and employer brand, as a result of costly and potentially high-profile litigation.

Click here to read the full version of this blog…

People Based Solutions offers support to our customers on a wide range of workplace health and wellbeing issues, including providing guidance on undertaking stress risk assessments, conducting employee engagement surveys, or making reasonable adjustments for employees with mental health conditions. If you would like to know more about how we can help your organisation, click here to visit our website, or e-mail us:

People Based HR