Recent research has uncovered that a worrying number of employees have avoided taking time off during a period of mental health struggles.
A recent report has uncovered that a worrying trend is beginning to take place, with 7 in 10 UK employees reporting they had pushed through a mental illness in the last 3 months in order to avoid taking time away from work. Furthermore, almost 6 in 10 (59%) employees have reported working through a physical illness and failing to take time to recover.
BetterUp Labs, the publisher of the report, has stated that the results found, have highlighted a worrying trend of widespread hesitation amongst UK employees to take the appropriate time away from work required to recover.
This report has brought the impact the pandemic has had on mental health to light. When asked if employees had or have a diagnosed mental illness, over a quarter (26%) of respondents confirmed the statement as true, with 30% of female respondents and 21% of male respondents stating they have had or currently are suffering from a mental illness.
When looking deeper into the statistics a worrying argument that age could be a contributing factor to the likelihood of an employee pushing through mental or physical illness to avoid absence could be made.
BetterUp Labs detailed that a staggering 85% of 18-24-year-olds and 78% of 25-34-year-olds had stated they had pushed through an illness in recent months, whilst, in comparison, only half of the 55+ group stated they had done so.
This has created a suggestion that young professionals may be experiencing mental health struggles at a much higher rate than older generations, opening the suggestion from experts for employers to aim to implement better systems to support young professionals suffering from mental illness whilst at work.
Despite the growing statistics of employees suffering from mental illness, the report has illustrated that employers are committing more time and resources to support employees with mental illness, with 71% of employees involved in the study believing their employers care about their mental health.
Staff members who strongly agree that their employer cares about their mental health, are 47% less likely to have an intention to leave their positions when compared to those who disagree, further highlighting the value for employers when an emphasis is placed on mental wellbeing.
Many British workers are still uncomfortable talking about their mental health with 28% of employees that partook in the research reporting that they had taken at least one day off due to mental health in the last 3 months.
When reporting their absence, 55% of these staff members provided a different explanation, such as a physical illness, to justify their absence, highlighting that many are reluctant to reveal they are suffering mentally, suggesting that mental health conversations are still considered a difficult topic, and a possibility that employers may still be able to do more to encourage employees to talk openly and freely about mental health.
Ensuring your employees remain safe whilst at work and are able to gain the support they need when suffering from mental illness is essential and as an employer, you have a legal obligation to do so.
OneHR offers you the perfect place to store important information regarding mental health first aid for those suffering and return to work documents for employees that have taken the time away from the workplace to recover. In addition, our useful absence management calendar will help you keep track of absenteeism, helping you uncover employees who may be suffering but are struggling to discuss mental ill-health at work.
If you would like to discuss this topic further or wish to better understand how oneHR can help you support your employees, please feel free to get in contact with our team today.