Mental health and employee loyalty

In 2017 mental health was the primary cause of long-term absence for 22% of businesses, with employees feeling too stressed or anxious to go into work. This is a significant increase on the 2016 figure of 13%. Of these employees a worrying 45% gave their employers another reason for their absence as they didn’t feel confident enough to disclose their problems at their place of work.[1]

With 31% of the UK workforce having been formally diagnosed with a mental health issue, the cost for employers is £42bn a year in lost productivity, recruitment and absence.[2] However nearly three in five (57%) people say that if their employer proactively supported their mental wellbeing, it would help them to feel more loyal, be more productive and take less time off work. The poll carried out by Health Shield also found that 90% of employees said that struggling with mental health issues stopped them from thriving at work and performing to the best of their ability.

How can an employer help?

The key to helping employees who may be struggling is to create a working environment where people are encouraged to talk about what’s bothering them, whether it be financial or emotional worries, struggles with addiction or personal issues. It can often fall to line managers to create this environment and to help there are numerous courses available where they can learn about developing mentally healthy workplaces, including addressing stigma and discrimination. Another way the issue can be addressed is through Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) which can offer support to managers and to employees who are struggling with personal or work-related issues. This employee support would typically take the form of counselling, referrals or follow-up services.  This potential access to free therapy for behavioural and mental health conditions can help offset concerns about cost and contribute to a culture of prevention (for more information about EAP’s view our factsheet). Dealing with these problems quickly will not only benefit the employee but also the employer as staff are likely to be off work for less time if at all.

And finally…

An open working environment, well trained line managers and an EAP can go a long way to looking after the wellbeing of your staff, whilst ensuring the productivity and performance of your business remains high. For further info on EAPs or other healthcare benefits please contact your dedicated Corporate Benefits Consultant or ring the Aspira office on 0800 048 0150.


[1] Why early intervention matters for workplace mental health,, viewed 22/08/2018

[2] Mental health support would improve employee loyalty – Health Shield, Cover Magazine,  viewed 22/8/2018

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