Costs of Employee Issues

An unhappy or unhealthy workforce ultimately translates to an unproductive workplace. Employee issues can impose direct and indirect costs on business.

Impacts of Stress in the Workplace

Stress in the workplace is a growing concern for employees and employers in Australia.

  • A total of 3.2 days per worker are lost each year through workplace stress.[1]
  • Stress-related workers’ compensation claims have doubled in recent years, costing over $10 billion each year.[2]
  • Almost half of working Australians (47%) rate issues in the workplace as a source of stresss.[3]
  • Work-related stress counts for a 49% increase in absenteeism.[4]
  • 64% of public sector organisations reported an increase in the levels of mental ill health (stress/anxiety/depression) at work, nearly twice the level of the private sector.[5]


The extent of the impact of stress in the workplace is trending upwards across all formal surveys and reported results.

Impacts of Depression on Business

Depression is a major impact on Australian employers due to employee sickness absence and presenteeism.

  • Safe Work Australia predicts that by 2020, stress-related illness will be the leading cause of the global disease burden.[6]
  • Research shows that Australian businesses lose at least $6.5 billion each year by failing to provide early intervention/treatment for employees with mental health conditions.[7]
  • Untreated depression in the workplace accounts for: ◦3 to 4 days off work per month for each person experiencing depression
    over 6 million working days lost each year in Australia
  • 2 million days of reduced productivity each year
  • $9,660 in absenteeism and lost productivity costs per full-time employee with untreated depression each year.[8]


[1, 2]Medibank Private (2008) The Cost of Workplace Stress in Australia p6 [3]Stress and Wellbeing in Australia Survey 2013 p33 [4]”Aussie Workers Sick with Pressure”, 3 March 2014 [5]Absence Management & Wellbeing Survey, 2013. Direct Health Solutions [6]Safe Work Australia “Australian Workplace Baromter Report” 2013 [7]Work Outcomes Research Cost Benefit Project, preliminary data, Mental Health Fact Sheet: Mental Health and Employment, MHCA [8]Beyond Blue: “The Business Case For Taking Action”