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Presenteeism, poor mental health, and the die hard worker.

Updated: Jan 20, 2019

Rarely studied until recently we are only beginning to understand the damage done to companies from the worker who just refuses to go off sick, or who works longer hours whilst stressed and anxious.

But Professor Sir Cary Cooper, president of the CIPD and professor of organisational psychology and health at the University of Manchester said in an interview with

“Although sickness absence is lower, presenteeism is on the increase,” said Cooper. “The concerns about job security from Brexit and the aftermath of the recession have led to people needing to show ‘face time’, worried that high absenteeism would lead to possible redundancy.”

Rachel Suff, senior employment relations adviser at the CIPD, said she was concerned about the fall in the number of organisations taking steps to tackle presenteeism – “around a quarter [25 per cent] in 2018 compared with almost half [48 per cent] in 2016”. 

The addition of trained Mental Health First Aid staff in the workplace is designed to combat things like the rise in Presenteeism. Peer lead and able to highlight support and pass on self care means that there is a rise in the honest reporting of reasons for sick time. With staff honestly reporting levels of stress, anxiety and depression there can be earlier, more beneficial, interventions meaning staff return to work happier, more loyal and aware of the behaviours that made them ill in the workplace.

As little as £300 can see a member of your staff trained and certificated as a Mental Health First Aid responder. For that price can you afford to not tackle to rise of presenteeism in your workplace.

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