4th August, 2014

Upbeat employees may reduce worker compensation claims.

New research from PwC and the Beyondblue organisation has identified the true cost of poor employee mental health, with businesses facing big worker compensation claims as a result.

The survey established the amount that companies are likely to lose as a result of unwell staff. PwC estimated that worker compensation claims which are the result of mental health issues are costing Australian businesses $145 million.

With mental health claims representing the most expensive compensation agreements, the only option for companies is to make sure they have effective worker compensation insurance. This will ensure that any high costs do not negatively impact the future of your business.

There were also considerable harms caused in other ways to businesses. The report found that over $4.5 billion is lost from Australian firms as a result of mental health-induced absenteeism, while another $6 billion resulted from missing productivity at work.

Among the industries discussed, the construction industry was singled out as one which had very high claim rates for mental illness, with 200 made in the 2011-2012 financial year.

The good news for businesses is that there are ways to prevent these claims from impacting your operations. On top of worker compensation insurance, consider investing in systems which can keep your employees healthy over time.

Another advantage for companies is that it only takes a small investment to see rewards. PwC found that every dollar spent on workplace wellness created $2.30 in benefits from the business, through lowered absenteeism and fewer worker compensation claims.

For small mining and essential services (like electrical and gas provision), these rewards can be even higher, with $14-$15 dollars gained for every dollar spent on mental health initiatives.

By using the right tools, your business does not have to lose money from worker compensation claims and absenteeism, unlocking greater productivity from your staff.

Author: Murray Bruce