Estimating the economic benefits of eliminating job strain as a risk factor for depression
Depression caused by stressful working conditions is common and has a cost, mainly affecting employers due to lost productivity and employee replacement costs.
The Estimating the economic benefits of eliminating job strain as a risk factor for depression study found that “job strain”, where workers have little control over their job, but who are under high pressure to perform, accounts for 17 per cent of depression in working women and 13 per cent in working men.
The $730 million job strain price tag includes lost productive time, employee replacement costs, government-subsidised mental health services and medications for depression. It equates to $11.8 billion over the average working lifetime, with the biggest loss accruing to employers. The report also revealed an $85 million cost of absences for depressed workers who do not have access to paid sick leave, a significant cost to employees.
This study was funded by VicHealth and led by Associate Professor Tony LaMontagne from the University of Melbourne School of Population Health and Dr Kristy Sanderson from the Menzies Research Institute, Tasmania.