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Gloucestershire Business News

Employers neglecting workers’ mental health

Employers show a lack of interest in the mental wellbeing of employees, even though many staff are suffering from stress, according to a new study.

Research of nearly 1,3000 workers by ADP revealed that nearly a third (31 per cent) said that their employer has little or no interest in their mental health, despite the fact that a fifth (20 per cent) are stressed on a daily basis.

Mental health issues have risen in prominence in recent years, with high profile figures, such as Prince William and Prince Harry, speaking out to break the taboo around the subject, which affects one in four people every year. Yet despite this shift, the findings indicate that many employers are still brushing the issue under the carpet.

Jeff Phipps, managing director of ADP, said: "A certain level of stress is natural, even healthy, in the workplace, but it's important that it doesn't get out of hand. Employees who endure consistently high levels of stress are in danger of suffering from anxiety and even burnout. This can lead to more serious mental health issues, which will impact not only their performance, but also their career, and personal life for a long period of time. It is therefore in the interest of employers to help staff to manage stress and put a safety net in place, before any issues become more serious."

Workplace stress peaks amongst younger employees, according to the study, with 22 per cent of workers under 35 saying they experience stress every day, and 42 per cent saying that it is so bad, they're considering jumping ship.

The highest levels of stress are experienced in the healthcare sector, with two in five healthcare professionals (40 per cent) considering leaving their role due to stress. Ironically, healthcare workers are also amongst the most likely to say their employer isn't interested in their mental wellbeing, a sentiment felt by 35 per cent of respondents.

Phipps continues: "Stress and mental health issues are one of the main causes of employee absence and staff turnover, which means supporting employees isn't just the right thing to do - it's also a worthwhile investment. Initiatives should deal with both the causes of stress and mental health issues. Employee assistance programmes and occupational health services are imperative in creating a safe location where employees can go in confidence if they're facing an issue."

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