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Individuals not being appropriately supported can have a flow on effect to co-workers if problems continue to be un-managed e.g. without the right adjustments in work, an employee may require time off. This means co-workers have increased workload, and there are turnover costs from recruitment and training new employees when someone is taking time off or leaves the organisation. 

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In a review of organisational case studies PwC found that 18 case studies noted a reduction in turnover (due to improved retention and/or return to work rates) due to well-being interventions. The average reduction in turnover was 20-25%.

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An Australian costing study found the greatest costs of depression among working people were incurred by employers (far exceeding healthcare costs), with turnover costs figuring more prominently than presenteeism and absenteeism costs.

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“In the United Kingdom, of the 300,000 people leaving their jobs in a quarter:

  • 3% have no long term mental health conditions and lose their job after one quarter
  • 4% have a constant long term physical condition and lose their job after one quarter
  • 6% have long term mental health conditions and lose their job after one quarter

These results indicate that individuals with mental health concerns are more likely to lose their job than those without mental health concerns or those with physical health concerns”.

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Young workers are more likely to leave a job because they consider the workplace a mentally unhealthy environment. This suggests that creating mentally healthy workplaces is going to become increasingly important as younger workers move through the workplace.

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Survey results found that a mentally healthy workplace that was both friendly and supportive, and promoted and protected the mental health of its employees was the second most powerful inhibitor of a worker leaving their job.

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Costs associated with not addressing psychological health and safety in the workplace can include costs and time related to: stress-related illnesses, absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, short- and long-term disability, benefit utilisation rates, workers’ compensation claims, return to work and accommodation, employee and family assistance plan use, workplace grievances, workplace conflict, health and safety infractions, human rights violations, and adverse events.

coin icon with text $11-12 billion

Economic analyses consistently show that mental health conditions are costing Australian businesses between $11 and $12 billion each year (through absenteeism, reduced work performance, increased turnover rates, and compensation claims.