Why has this research been done?

  • Sickness absence and presenteeism have a direct impact on organisation productivity
  • Previous research has indicated that Psychosocial safety climate (PSC) and the psychological health outcomes of depression, psychological distress and disengagement have an important impact on sickness absence and presenteeism and may therefore have the capacity to impact an organisation’s productivity.
  • This research quantifies the cost of poor organisational PSC and poor psychosocial health and highlights the productivity benefits and gains to worker wellbeing that can be achieved by addressing mental health in the workplace.

What did we find?

  • The total cost of low levels of PSC to Australian employers is estimated to be approximately $6 billion per annum.
  • The total cost of depression to Australian employers through presenteeism and absenteeism is estimated to be approximately $6.3 billion per annum.

What do the findings suggest?

  • There is a strong economic argument for action on employee psychological health.
  • Organisations can improve the health of their workforce and their productivity (through reducing presenteeism and absenteeism) by addressing PSC and psychosocial risk factors in their workplaces.


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