47% cite mental health as major cause of sickness absence

By Jessica Bird

Oct 17, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: Mental health issues have risen as a major cause of sickness absence in respondents’ organisations, from 39% to 47% over the past year, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield.

The Employee Benefits/Health Shield healthcare research 2018 report, which surveyed 162 respondents in July, found that mental health remained the second highest cause of sick leave since 2017. Minor ailments continue to top the list, with an increase of 5% to land on 58% this year.

Musculoskeletal ailments have decreased as a major cause of sickness absence by eight percentage points, down to 30% in 2018.

There are few other significant changes to the major causes of absence, beyond some fluctuations year-on-year, such as work accidents rising by 4%, and work-life balance problems and quality of management both rising by 3%.

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