Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Friday 27th October, 2017
British businesses are losing out financially to the tune of tens of billions of pounds as a result of mental health issues among the members of their workforces.
That’s according to a recent report commissioned by the government, which also found that close to 300,000 people lose their jobs as a consequence of struggling with long-term mental health problems in the UK every year.
Those shocking figures have led the government to ask that the NHS in England and the civil service, who collectively employ around two million people, to accept the recommendations outlined in the relevant report.
Prime minister Theresa May has also encouraged businesses across the country to do likewise and to work towards being better able to provide useful support to any employee who suffers with mental health issues.
“I have made it a priority of this government to tackle the injustice of mental illness,” the prime minister said in a statement.
“It is only by making this an everyday concern for everyone that we change the way we see mental illness so that striving to improve your mental health – whether at work or at home – is seen as just as positive as improving our physical wellbeing.”
The government-backed report on issues of mental health in the workplace was jointly written by Lord Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer, who is the chief executive of the charity group Mind and chair of the NHS’ mental health taskforce.
Figures given in the report suggest that mental health problems among employees costs UK companies somewhere between £33 billion and £42 billion on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, the same issues are estimated to cost the wider British economy somewhere between £74 billion and £99 billion every year.
According to researchers from Deloitte, who were involved in compiling the report, businesses in different industries are affected to very differing degrees by mental health problems within their workforces.
However, businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are understood to be affected to a considerable extent by the costs associated with failing to properly support employees who have mental health concerns.