Analysis by Legal & General (L&G) of research into the Department of Work and Pensions Fit for Work Service shows that 73% of respondents who were absent from work reported more than one health condition, with mental health illnesses the most commonly reported secondary condition.
For example, 44% of respondents who reported that their main absence from work was a musculoskeletal disorder also said that they had a mental health condition.
Furthermore, absentees with a mental health condition were more likely to report a non-health related barrier that was preventing them from returning to work.
According to L&G, the findings echo recent figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which confirm that mental and behavioural disorders are among the leading causes of staff absence.
L&G group protection managing director, Diane Buckley, comments: “This shows just how important it is for employers to have a supportive absence management strategy in place to support employees through their absence, and help them in their return to work.”