Absences due to mental illnesses are on the rise

Four people conversing in a professional space.

(25.10.2023) Workplace absenteeism weighs heavily on the activities of companies. More than one in four SMEs (26%) experienced the negative consequences of absences due to mental health issues in 2022, according to a study on the labor market by the insurance company Axa.

The issue of mental health is increasingly concerning employers. While 41% of the surveyed firms claimed to be "not affected" in 2022, they are now only 36% in 2023. Almost two-thirds of the surveyed companies (64%) are thus confronted with it, to varying degrees.

Conducted among 301 SMEs with more than five employees in the French-speaking and German-speaking parts of Switzerland, the survey revealed that the frequency of absences related to mental disorders seems to be intensifying. Nearly a quarter (24%) of the surveyed SMEs report an increase in the number of these absences in the five years preceding the survey, compared to less than a fifth (17%) a year earlier. However, 22% of them observe a mitigation of the problem, which is 2 points higher than in 2022.

Extended employee absences can have detrimental consequences for the company's operation. Among the most frequent repercussions are overtime and increased workload for the remaining staff (54%), costs related to recruiting additional personnel (38%), loss of production or failures in services (37%), and costs related to continuing salary payments (30%).

To combat this phenomenon, employers are taking measures to prevent the onset of mental illnesses. The most common ones include creating a pleasant working atmosphere (42%), promoting an open culture of communication and feedback (38%), promoting a balance between professional and private life (26%), and conducting surveys among employees (20%).


Last modification 25.10.2023

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