Cost to employers of mental health problems

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In 2007, Centre for Mental Health published a report on ‘Mental health at work: developing the business case’ which presented estimates of the aggregate costs to UK employers of mental health problems among their staff. These estimates showed that the overall costs of mental health problems at work amounted to some £25.9 billion in 2006, equivalent to 3.6% of the national pay bill or £1,035 for every employee in the UK workforce.

This short paper provides an update of these estimates for the financial year 2016/17, taking into account changes in the underlying determinants of aggregate employer costs such as sickness absence rates, the overall numbers of people in paid employment and average earnings. Account is also taken of the findings of a brief review of relevant research published since 2007.