Australian employees call for action addressing mental health

Australian employees call for action addressing mental health | Insurance Business Australia

Australian employees call for action addressing mental health

Four in five Australian employees are calling on their employers to address mental health in the workplace, according to the latest report by Allianz.

The Allianz Future Thriving Workplaces report revealed that a concerning 80% of Australian employees surveyed wanted workplaces to double down on mental health initiatives. It brings to light the 80% increase in Allianz workers’ compensation claims costs related to mental health, rising an average of 22% year-on-year since 2017.

As COVID-19 and enforced lockdowns continue to impact people’s mental health, one in two managers surveyed said they feel an increased responsibility for their people’s mental health at work – with 47% highlighting the stronger need for mental health initiatives in the sector.

On the bright side, some employers have already taken action by implementing initiatives during the pandemic, with six in 10 employees surveyed claiming that their employers had already introduced mental health programmes. Meanwhile, 55% of managers said they or their organisation plans to implement mental health initiatives within the next 12 months.

“We know that improved mental health in employees across all industries greatly benefits employers and their businesses. It positively impacts individuals’ productivity, talent retention, and, ultimately, business performance. Yet, the challenge now is to bridge the gap between awareness of mental ill-health in the workplace and taking action,” said Julie Mitchell, the chief general manager of workers’ compensation at Allianz Australia.

“Allianz is committed to empowering employers with the right knowledge, resources, and initiatives to better support employees facing mental health issues. Especially as we sadly anticipate seeing a rise in workers’ compensation psychological claims as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting it’s even more important for Australian workplaces to implement the required changes to tackle these challenges now and work to prevent them in the future.”