Mental health days rose by 10% in 2020, costing businesses £14bn

The north of England had 76% more mental health days off than the South

The number of mental health days taken off by workers increased by 10% in 2020, costing business £14bn, according to the latest study by Westfield Health.

The study asked 1,600 employees and HR leaders across England about their workplace health and wellbeing found on average, employees took 3.19 days off for mental health-related issues in 2020, up from 2.90 days in 2019.

It also found that over a third of employees said their mental health affects their productivity on a weekly basis, with employees report “significantly lower” levels of morale, wellbeing and productivity compared to HR leaders than last year.

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In addition, it said the north of England had 76% more mental health days off than the South.

Westfield Health CEO Dave Capper said: “Having spent over 100 years helping people with their health, we know the impact that poor wellbeing has on individuals, businesses and the economy. It’s a price we can’t afford to keep paying. These findings are a call to action for businesses.

“They emphasise the need for individuals, companies and government to work together like never before to make a step change in the way we look after ourselves and one another. They demand that we not forget what is perhaps the most important lesson of 2020 – that our health truly is our wealth.”

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