Talking about mental health

Poor mental health costs South West employers £1,674 per employee a year, according to Deloitte analysis.

New analysis by Deloitte finds that poor mental health costs employers in the South West £1,674 per employee each year and nationally, UK employers as a whole, up to £45 billion each year. This is a rise of 16% since 2016 - an extra £6 billion for the UK a year.

For employers in the South West, the research reveals that the annual cost of a worker leaving their job for mental health reasons is £212 per employee.

The analysis puts the cost of presenteeism for South West employers at £1,159 per employee each year. Presenteeism is part of a complex picture in which people with poor mental health continue to work when they are not at their most productive, rather than take time off.

Mental-health related absenteeism also has a cost associated with it. When staff members are off work for reasons related to mental health conditions, the cost to an employer in the South West works out to be £303 per employee per year.

The research also looks at how employers can take steps to negate the costs and finds that it pays to support employees’ mental health. On average, for every £1 spent on supporting their people’s mental health, employers get £5 back on their investment in reduced presenteeism, absenteeism and staff turnover.

Analysis from Deloitte’s report on ‘Mental health and employers: The case for refreshing investment’ shows that higher return on investment can be achieved by early interventions, such as organisation-wide culture change and education, than more in-depth support that may be needed at a later stage when a person is struggling.

Dave Tansley, a partner at Deloitte in the South West and one of the firm’s mental health champions, said: “As our ways of working evolve, so do expectations of employers about how we should support our people.

“This analysis shows very clearly that, in the long run, it’s more cost effective for employers to provide mental health support at work. Many large employers are already seeing a greater openness in discussing mental health at work, which is a good thing. Early intervention is vital, for those experiencing poor mental health and employers alike.

“Understanding more about the relationship between mental health and work is in all of our interests and we hope this analysis can help.”

Caroline Klinkenberg
+44 (0)11 7984 2741

Note to editors


  • Deloitte’s analysis looks at the differences between sectors and industry groups, by region and by age group.


  • In order to calculate the costs of poor employee mental health, a range of costs were considered:
    • Absence from work;
    • Presenteeism;
    • Staff turnover and associated costs.
  • The report calculates that poor mental health costs UK employers at £42 – 45 billion a year, compared to £33 - £42 billion in 2017 – the 16% rise is calculated from the mid-point between the two.
  • ROI (return on investment) figures are based on a systematic review of 125 reports about mental health interventions and calculated by the net return (benefits minus costs) divided by costs incurred by the organisation.
  • Further details can be found here: Mental health and employers: the case for refreshing investment -

About Deloitte
In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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