Stress and stress-related illness is a major challenge and a growing cost for modern organisations.
- Mental stress claims account for one third of worker’s compensation payouts across Australia, and payouts currently average about $250,000 (Comcare, 2011).
- According to Safe Work Australia, workers with a job-related mental disorder take an average of 10.8 weeks off per year (Safe Work Australia, 2006). That’s over 2.5 months’ absence, on average, per year!
- It is estimated that stress-related absenteeism and presenteeism (lost productivity in performing a job due to stress) currently costs the Australian economy $11.6 billion annually (Medibank Private, 2010). That’s around 1.5% of Australia’s GDP!
These costs are likely to keep growing. For example, in 2010, 70 per cent of employees who reported work-related stress had not applied for worker’s compensation. Teaching employees practical skills that reduce stress and increase resilience is an important part of the solution to this growing challenge.