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Rising Mental Health Claims Signal Urgent Need for Tailored Workplace Solutions

Rising Mental Health Claims Signal Urgent Need for Tailored Workplace Solutions

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in mental health claims among employees grappling with heightened economic pressures and workplace challenges.
Allianz, the country's largest workers’ compensation insurer, highlights a pressing issue: a 47.5% surge in active psychological claims, accompanied by a 30% hike in absence days due to mental health concerns from 2019 to 2022.

The insurer serves over 155,000 businesses, indicating a significant cross-section of the national workforce. Predominant causes of these psychological claims include workplace harassment, bullying, and stress/burnout, collectively constituting 76-78% of all such claims.

In a survey Allianz conducted between April and May this year, nearly half of the respondents reported feeling fatigued in their roles. Additionally, over one-third of employees are contemplating changing jobs within the next year. This widespread fatigue, coupled with discontentment over compensation and workload, is contributing to mental health strain.

Specifically, 46% of employees cite economic stressors as a major detractor from job satisfaction, while 33% feel their compensation does not match their efforts. Another 25% attribute their mental exhaustion to increased work demands. Allianz emphasizes, "Economic pressures are directly impacting employees' views on their work environment."

Julie Mitchell, Allianz's Chief GM for personal injury, points out that primary psychological claims are not only growing in number but also in cost. Over the past five years, the average cost of a psychological claim has been 2.8 times higher than that of a physical claim. In 2023 alone, the average expenditure for a psychological claim stood at $42,335, up from $32,769 in 2019, as reported to insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Despite the reduction in mental health stigma, Mitchell warns of an ongoing rise in the frequency and complexity of these claims unless organizations proactively address their employees' needs. She asserts, "It's crucial for companies to move away from a 'one size fits all' mental health strategy, as employees’ experiences and needs vary greatly based on individual circumstances."

Employees have voiced a desire for more transparent communication about workplace issues and want management to establish clear channels for airing concerns. This sentiment reflects a need for customized approaches to mental health support that recognize and address the unique challenges faced by different workforce segments.

This article is based on information originally reported by insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Published:Monday, 17th Jun 2024
Source: Paige Estritori

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