Cost of poor employee mental health is £51 billion per year

The cost of poor employee mental health has been found to be £51 billion per year, down from £56 billion in 2021, but up from £45 billion in 2019, according to new research from Deloitte.

The professional services network surveyed 3,156 working adults, of which 1,834 were working parents, for its Mental health and employers: the case for investment report. It found that presenteeism is the largest contributor to this, costing employers around £24 billion annually.

More than half (58%) of respondents said their mental wellbeing was good or excellent, with 64% of 18-24-year-olds reporting that their overall their mental health is good, an increase from 53% in 2022. Despite this, 63% were exhibiting at least one sign of burnout, an increase from 51% in the previous survey.

The report highlighted that the main concerns affecting the mental health of working adults were the increasing cost of living (60%), personal or family finances (46%), and job security (22%). Working parents were most concerned about the rising cost of living (65%), family finances (55%) and the mental health of their children (29%).

Almost half (46%) of working parents are concerned about their children’s mental health. Of those who revealed this, half said it impacts their performance at work and 63% have turned to external support sources to manage their children’s mental health challenges. Furthermore, 32% have looked to reduce their working hours and 19% have turned to their employer for an employee support line, childcare or flexible working arrangements.

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Elizabeth Hampson, Deloitte partner and author of the research, said: “Employers are increasingly putting mental health and wellbeing at the heart of their business and providing effective mental health support for their people. The benefits of providing targeted support for employees are clear and compelling.

“Employers need concrete evidence to make informed decisions about how to invest in workplace mental health programmes and maximise benefits, including financial returns. We hope to inspire employers to take stock of the importance of their people’s wellbeing and mental health and put in place effective interventions to support their people, including working parents.”