A new study has revealed that more than half of employers do not consider depression to be of sufficient importance to allow staff to take time off work.

Research from mental health charity Mentaline.com found 52 per cent of bosses questioned were not satisfied that depression and similar complaints were a satisfactory reason for absence, while 59 per cent felt similarly about stress.

“It was quite shocking to see that so many employers seem to disregard issues such as depression and stress,” said the group’s founder Jesper Buch. “It’s important that employers acknowledge the problems and fully understand them.”

Over one-fifth of participants admitted they would favour a candidate with no history of mental health, while 44 per cent stated that they do not take pre-emptive steps to prevent the rigours of work contributing to the development of mental illness.

Last week, Scottish Association for Mental Health policy and campaigns chief Carolyn Roberts urged businesses to invest in the personal wellbeing of their employees.

Posted by Ross George