Increased cost of workplace mental health injuries

Allianz reports that the cost of mental health-related workers’accident compensation claims (main psychological workers’ accident compensation claims) has increased by 80%, with an average increase of 22% each year since 2017. The findings are part of Allianz’s future prosperous workplace report. It has also been found that 80% of Australian employees surveyed want their employers to take action to address mental health in the workplace.

The findings of the report show the long-term effects of mental health status on an individual’s overall well-being. On average, benefits paid for primary psychological injury claims are up to four times higher per year than claims related to physical injuries and take longer to recover than physical injuries. Nearly 75% of primary psychological claims are absent from work compared to 50. Percentage of physical injuries.

Data from SafeWork Australia show $ 543 million paid to compensate workers for their mental health status, highlighting the scale of the problem and the importance of employers actively engaging in employee mental health. Is emphasized.

COVID-19: Catalyst of change

Promoted by COVID-19, one in two managers surveyed said they felt they were more responsible for the mental health of their employees in the workplace, with nearly half of employers (47%). ) Believes that the need for mental health initiatives is increasing. industry.

The Allianz Future Thriving Workplaces report reveals that some employers have already taken action by initiating the program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six out of ten Australian workers surveyed said their employers had already implemented mental health initiatives, and 55% of managers said they or their organizations would implement mental health initiatives within the next 12 months. He said he plans to do so.

Julie Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of Workers’ Accident Compensation at Allianz Australia, said: We know that improving the mental health of employees in all industries can bring significant benefits to employers and their businesses. It has a positive impact on personal productivity, talent retention, and ultimately performance.

“But the current challenge is to bridge the gap between mental health awareness and behavior in the workplace. You can’t take a shotgun approach. The priority is to address the well-being of each individual — prosperous employees. Employees lead to positive results for teams and businesses. Our actions need to be meaningful to employees and integrated into every organization.

“Allianz is committed to providing employers with the right knowledge, resources and initiatives to better support employees facing mental health problems, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic. It is even more important for Australian workplaces to make the necessary changes to address these challenges now and to prevent them in the future, as we anticipate that the psychological claims of worker accident compensation will increase as a result. Emphasize that there is.

“We believe that prioritizing employee well-being, especially the increasing number of Australians experiencing mental health conditions, is the key to building a prosperous workplace in the future,” she concludes. I attached it.

Overcome barriers to a mental health workplace

The report identified key barriers that employers need to address to drive positive change. Three-quarters (76%) of Australian employees say there are factors that prevent them from implementing mental health initiatives in the workplace.

Stigma seems to be an important hurdle to tackle mental health in the workplace, with 4 in 10 (38%) of employees surveyed not taking mental health problems as seriously as physical illness. I feel that. However, this is a significant improvement over last year’s Allianz Awareness into Action report, and if 8 out of 10 (85%) say they have a cold, managers will need employee leave. I think it’s likely to be considered genuine. Or flu rather than stress or anxiety.

Allianz Workers’ Accident Compensation Data also revealed that work-related harassment and work pressure are the most common causes of major psychological claims. The most commonly reported workplace behaviors that employees claim to have adversely affected their mental health are:

  • Inefficient or unfair management (39% of employees were affected).
  • Workplace culture (33% of employees were affected).
  • Bullying and harassment (24% of employees were affected).
  • Organizational structure (24% of employees were affected).

Leadership-led empathy promotes a mentally healthy workplace

Australian employees feel that the first step to a mental health workplace should begin with a conversation about mental health. Three in four (75%) of the Australian employees surveyed agreed that more dialogue and discussion on mental health and well-being was needed in the workplace.

Enlightenment days, such as Mental Health Awareness Month in October, are a way to encourage conversation and gain advocacy to blame mental health. This is an important factor in implementing an effective mental health program for employees.

Mental health expert and collaborator Matthew Johnstone of the Allianz Future Thriving Workplaces report states that employers can work with employees to develop the right attitudes, resources and initiatives to best meet their needs. I did.

“Employers don’t have to think that mental health strategies are difficult, tickling, or costly to implement. Leaders respond appropriately to empathy, conversation, good ears, and the emotional needs of people. You can start with a plan to do.

“Once they have that idea, work design, employee-employee relationships, work-life balance, and collaborative workspaces improve to help companies build a mentally healthy workplace. It’s an important factor that can be done. After all, a company is just as good as the people who work for it. Investing in them will bring them far more profits than just profits, “he said. ..

The Allianz Future Thriving Workplaces report investigates the main causes of mental health in the workplace, the main barriers faced by employers and employees, and what their future mental health strategies will be. Alongside the report, Allianz has released a variety of resources to help employers develop mentally healthy workplaces (in all industries).

With new ways of working in mind, the report identified five key areas where employees want to improve.

  • Built-in flexibility: 41% want flexible working options.
  • Additional leave: 38% want additional paid leave, including mental health leave.
  • Proactive check-in: 34% want more open conversations and employee check-in.
  • Welfare programs: 33% want employers to implement workplace welfare programs.
  • Awareness and Prevention Training: 32% want to introduce mental health awareness training.

Image Credit: © / au / AnderzejWilusz

Increased cost of workplace mental health injuries

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