The research examined the impact of employees’ mental health conditions on productivity, participation and compensation claims, finding these conditions cost Australian employers at least $10.9 billion every year.
PwC partner Jeremy Thorpe said the report reveals how investing in mental health benefits businesses of different sizes within different industries, with small businesses often benefitting the most.
“For example, small mining businesses that invest in effective mental health programs receive an average return on investment (ROI) of 15, meaning they get $15 out of every $1 they spend,” he said.
“Small essential service providers receive an average ROI of 14.5. This is because employee participation is vital in implementing a successful program.
“Any positive ROI is something business should strive for. This is why I would urge all employers, regardless of what industry you’re in or your business size, to read this report and learn what economic benefits you can gain from investing in mental health,” said Mr Thorpe.
beyondblue chairman and former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett said the report provides a compelling case for businesses to back Heads Up, a campaign to give both big and small businesses practical advice about the importance of mental health in the workplace.
“One in five Australian workers are experiencing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety right now, but sadly too many workplaces still do not realise the importance of their employees’ mental health,” he said.
“This report shows that employers have a responsibility not only to their workers, but also to their businesses’ profitability, to tackle these conditions at work.
"Heads Up will provide them with a tailor-made action plan to do this and helps ensure Australia’s 11.5 million workers receive the support they need to be mentally healthy and productive”.