Employment: the economic case

Every organisation in Britain is affected by mental distress and ill health in the workforce. At any one time one worker in six will be experiencing depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress. 91 million days are lost each year due to mental health problems.

The total cost to employers is estimated at nearly £35 billion each year. That is equivalent to £1,300 for every employee in the UK workforce. (Figures updated 2017)

Simple steps to improve the management of mental health in the workplace should enable employers to save 30% or more of these costs – at least £8 billion a year.

Download Mental Health at work: the business costs ten years on


The economic case for Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

The cost of implementing IPS at the level of provision recommended in government commissioning guidance is estimated at around £67 million a year nationally (or £440,000 per average PCT). In comparison, current spending on day and employment services is around £184 million a year. This implies that IPS could readily be established within existing provision by diverting resources from less effective services.

In this country, official commissioning guidance on vocational services for people with severe mental health problems recommends caseloads per employment specialist of “up to 25 people at any one time” (Department of Health & Department for Work and Pensions, 2006). In broad terms, the cost of an employment specialist (including overheads and support) is thus in the range £45-50,000 a year and recommended caseloads are in the range 20-25. These figures confirm that an estimate of £2,000 a year per IPS place is broadly appropriate for financial planning purposes.

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