Half of employees confess they would feel uncomfortable discussing mental health issues due to the negative impact this could have on their career.

According to a survey by payroll, learning and HR company MHR, almost one in two employees are hesitant about sharing mental health issues with their employer because of the impact that this could have on their career.

Worryingly, this comes at a time when more employees are taking days off due to mental health problems.

In 2020, 31 per cent of staff reported having had time off work due to mental health concerns, but this year the figure rose to 35 per cent.

A separate study, conducted by HR consultancy LHH, indicates that it is young professionals who are suffering with the highest levels of burnout (54 per cent).

A disconnect between employers and staff appears to be exacerbating this problem, with two-thirds of workers (67 per cent) saying that leaders do not meet their expectations for checking on their mental wellbeing.

The research suggests that this failure to adequately support staff may have derived from a lack of training for managers on mental health issues.

Over half of UK managers confessed they have not found it easy to manage the workforce on issues of burnout (58 per cent) and mental wellbeing (60 per cent).

Jeanette Wheeler, HR Director, MHR, stated:

It is concerning to see that the stigma around mental health is still very much present in work environments.

Individuals that recognise they need time off to look after their wellbeing, should not feel threatened to admit the truth to their employer. These findings should urge business leaders to re-evaluate their approaches to mental health.

Creating a safe space for conversations about mental health is about more than just companywide training, it comes down to the culture of an organisation.

John Morgan, President at LHH, added:

Employees need leaders to step up to the plate right now, and leaders also need support.

Companies should invest in coaching for their leaders so they can better identify and address issues that could otherwise become the reason employees leave.


*MHR surveyed 6,386 employees based in the UK to obtain these results. LHH’s data has been documented in their report “Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work Study”.