Updated: Dec 20, 2020
Almost half of employers have had an employee leave due to poor mental health support, according to a new survey.
Carried out by not-for-profit healthcare company, Benenden Health, the survey included 1008 employees and 1003 employers from across the UK.
The survey found that 47% of businesses had experienced an employee leaving due to a lack of mental health support at their workplace, while 25% of respondents had witnessed a key member of staff leave their company.
The figures reflect attitudes toward the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace, with 36% of employees thinking it is a priority for their employer, and 57% of employees saying that a supportive mental wellbeing policy would increase the appeal of a new job.
In addition, 55% of employees would look for another job if they felt their mental wellbeing was not being supported – a figure that was highest in 18 to 24-year-olds (78%) and lowest in the over 55s (38%).
From an employer perspective, 58% said that they care about the mental wellbeing of their staff, even though only 53% of companies had asked employees for mental health support suggestions.
Mental wellbeing support that employees valued the most in the survey were free counselling (46%), mental health sick leave (45%), regular workload reviews (41%), and a confidential mental health helpline (35%).
“It is concerning that employers have reported losing good staff due to poor mental wellbeing provision, something that employees clearly consider important and which could be creating a perfect storm for UK organisations," said Bob Andrews, chief executive at Benenden Health. “The data highlights a missed opportunity for employers to listen to their staff and promote good mental wellbeing within their organisation, as this can have a real positive effect not only on the health of employees but also on absence rates, productivity, recruitment and retention."
The survey findings paint a worrying picture for UK businesses, with concerns already high regarding a surge in mental illness in coming months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Work-related stress has substantially increased across Europe during 2020, while almost 40% of UK business leaders have 'self-medicated' with drugs and alcohol to help with their mental health during the pandemic.
To read the full report, click here.