Well, The World Health Organisation says that ‘Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.’ I think that really demonstrates that yes, mental health challenges can be a threat to your business, if you have people in your business it makes good business sense to ensure you are taking care of their well-being and mental health to ensure good productivity. Although there is also more to consider…………
Sickness absence – A staggering 70 million workdays are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year. (mentalhealth.org) Again, this is costing businesses and with only around 50% of employees saying they are honest with their employer about the reason for their absence when it is mental health related this cost will probably be higher than documented. Are you sure your employees or team members are honest with you?
Staff turnover – this could be people leaving because they don’t feel supported or valued, or it could be the business letting people go because of situations created by mental health challenges that they are unaware of. There will be a cost of going through this process and then finding a replacement, not only directly financially but also with productivity and relationships in the team they are leaving.
Legal – This is not my area at all so this section has been provided by the amazing Nicola O’Dwyer at Downs Law. By assisting with issues of stress or anxiety at work it may help prevent their illness from developing into a disability. The definition for disability in the Equality Act 2010 is: “A person has a disability if the person has a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities.” Stress, depression, and anxiety may lead to a mental impairment and could potentially be a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act. If their illness is a disability under the Equality Act 2010 you are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to assist the employee at work.
If you do not make reasonable adjustment you will be at risk of a claim at the Employment Tribunal. In addition, if you treat an employee less favourably due to their disability you will be at risk of a claim for disability discrimination. The award for discrimination is uncapped.
So it is not all doom and gloom let’s look at what the effects of good mental health and well-being support in a business?
Kindness not only improves your own mental health and well-being but also those around you…. And it spreads! By you being kind and supporting your employees you will encourage them to also support each other, creating a brilliant working environment of employees that feel supported and also feel great as they are helping others. Win, win.
The World Health Organisation also says that for every US$1 spent on good quality, scaled up mental health support US$4 is returned via improved productivity. This is amazing! By looking after your employees and doing the right thing morally you can also improve your business and bottom line, there really is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Not only that, by working with HHG to improve your employees lives and your business you will also be helping to provide much needed mental health support to children and young people. This is because we donate 10% off our profits to our sister not-for-profit company (Holistic Healthcare Education CIC) which is dedicated to changing the lives of children and young people in the UK by giving them the education and support in this area that is so badly needed. Did you know that the most common reason for death in children between 10-19yrs is suicide? And that mental health in young people has deteriorated year on year for over a decade? We think this needs to change!
Get in touch if you would like more information on how we can help support your business and employees – firstname.lastname@example.org