34% of employee absences in financial services are related to mental ill health


Around a third (34%) of employee absences in the financial services sector since 2013 have been due to mental ill health, according to research by AdviserPlus.

Its analysis of over 250,000 of its employee records also found that 24% of employee absence days in the retail sector since 2013 relate to mental health.

The research also found:

  • 22% of employee absences in the utilities sector since 2013 have been due to mental ill health.
  • 33% of male respondents have been absent from work in the last year due to mental ill health, compared to 29% of women.
  • 35% of absences for 26 to 35-year-olds are linked to mental ill health, compared to 23% of mental health related absences for 56 to 65-year-olds.

Chris Clarke (pictured), chief executive officer at AdviserPlus, said: “Mental ill health is the biggest reason for long-term absence in the UK, accounting for over 15 million working days lost in 2016. Our data suggests that the financial crisis and increased personal responsibility under new regulations are taking their toll on those working in financial services. The percentage of absences in the sector due to mental ill health has increased year on year.

“It’s crucial that financial sector businesses measure the level of workplace absences due to mental ill health within their organisation, and have plans in place to respond. Line managers need to be properly trained, to enable them to spot the early signs that someone may be suffering from mental ill health so that they are able to provide help and support before the illness becomes more serious.

“With male suicide now the single biggest killer of men under 45 it’s no surprise that men have a higher percentage of absences due to mental ill health. Thankfully, businesses are starting to follow in the footsteps of sport and other sectors where men have been placed front and centre when it comes to tackling mental ill health.

Sign up to our newsletters

Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“However, it’s worrying that mental ill health is more prevalent among younger members of the workforce. This may be because people are more likely to go through periods of increased stress between the ages of 26 and 35 when life changes such as marriage, children and, career advancement are heightened.

“Employers need to use data analytics to assess if particular age groups are being affected in their work place. If they are, they need to tailor the support they offer to address the particular issues those individuals are likely to be facing.”