Only one in 10 (10%) of employers offer mental health training to managers, according to research by Jelf Employee Benefits and manufacturers’ organisation EEF.
The study, which surveyed 345 employers, also found that 80% of organisations do not measure the cost of absence.
The research also found:
- Overall sickness absence levels remain low at approximately 2%; the equivalent of 5.1 days per employee.
- Half (50%) of employees have no absences at all.
- 38% of long-term absences are caused by back pain and musculoskeletal disorders.
- Just 2% of employers have an open mental health disclosure policy.
- Long-term absence has seen the largest rise in five years.
- One-third of respondents rely exclusively on the NHS to address long-term absence.
- Two-fifths (40%) of the employers surveyed can make workplace adjustments or provide training to manage long-term absence.
- 70% of those surveyed do not measure the return on investment for the health and wellbeing benefits they offer.
Professor Sayeed Khan, chief medical adviser at EEF, said: “While overall absence levels remain low, there continues to be a marked difference between short and long-term absence, which is creeping up.
“Without a renewed effort to tackle its root causes it will continue to act as a drag on the economy and efforts to improve productivity and boost growth.
“Of particular concern is the gradual increase in stress and mental health-related problems over the last five years with which GPs and employers are struggling to deal.
“While employers and GPs appear able to manage other causes of absence they must now be given the tools to deal with stress and mental health issues in the same way.”