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Mental Health Costs British Business £16bn a year

Mental health issues can impact people from any walk of life at any time, anywhere. When British businesses fail to take that into account, they can end up carrying the cost, to the tune of £16bn a year.

The figure comes from research conducted to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week by recruitment specialists Michael Page. The study shows that the average British worker has taken five days off work due to mental health in the last 12 months. When considered in conjunction with the latest ONS employment figures, this accounts for 163.5 million lost business days each year, demonstrating the need for companies to have a supportive mental health policy in place.

The study also highlights that in the past year, workers aged 35 to 54 were recording more mental health sick days, taking an average of six days compared to the national benchmark of five. The same proportion of male and female workers had taken time off due to mental health in the preceding 12 months, with men taking on average one day more than women.

Sheri Hughes, UK Diversity & Inclusion Director at Michael Page commented: “With more than 163 million days a year lost due to mental health, it has a huge impact on businesses in the UK. Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any age, so it’s vital employers invest wisely in mental health support and have systems in place to provide help to employees when they need it. Companies of all sizes have a responsibility to ensure the mental and physical wellbeing of their people, so if a mental health policy isn’t in place, now is the time to devise and implement one.”