Lost workdays are among the biggest avoidable costs faced by businesses of all sizes.
Taking all reasons for absenteeism into account, in 2019/2020, the total economic cost to the country was estimated to be £16.2 billion, with over 38.8 million working days lost.
Along with back injuries, mental health problems are one of the leading causes of sickness/absence. An incredible 70 million workdays are lost each year due to mental health problems in the UK, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year.
Understanding mental health and absenteeism
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE, 2020) indicates that workplace stress is one of the biggest single factors in triggering mental health issues and resulting absenteeism.
Faced with such a massive problem, how can responsible employers respond cost-effectively? All employers, big or small, have a ‘duty of care’ to provide a safe workplace and ‘prevent risks to health’. It’s a tall order.
Evidence suggests that employees who feel that their employer is taking a real interest in their well-being and demonstrating practical measures to prove it may be less prone to developing negative attitudes and better able to deal with day-to-day workplace stresses.
In the past, verbal and written reporting systems for health and safety matters have been seen by many as a barrier to the quick reporting of existing or potential issues, which is an essential starting point for the resolution of many problems. This can lead to a build-up of resentment and create a bigger problem that may explode later on.
What’s the solution?
The Zecure app is designed to overcome this issue, using smart, easy-to-use technology that puts instant reporting and evidence recording at the fingertips of every employee. The roll-out of the app is in itself a clear and visible demonstration that the employer is taking employee protection seriously – even if the majority of workers never have occasion to use it. Within the workforce, it can become an internal viral word-of-mouth talking point, helping to spread a positive image of the employer.
But perhaps the biggest single contribution Zecure makes is to raise awareness about health and safety – and raised awareness is well established as the number one factor in cutting workplace injury and sickness.
HSE, 2020. Work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain, 2020. Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf