A worrying amount of Irish workers have suffered from work related mental illness
The lovely people at Friends First released the findings of a new ‘Employee Protection Index’.
This recent study indicates that mental health issues are now the number one workplace illness.
A shocking 2 in 5 (38 percent) workers admitted to suffering from stress and anxiety during their career, followed by cancer (33 percent) and chronic back pain (32 percent).
Worryingly for the Irish millennials, mental health issues emerged as most prevalent amongst younger workers.
More generally, 4 in 10 workers said that they've taken extended sick leave due to an accident or illness with the resulting sick leave period being on average 14 weeks.
The study shows that employees in Ireland vastly underestimate the likelihood that they will experience a significant income interruption due to their health.
Only a mere 7 percent said that they anticipate needing to take extended sick leave in the future.
When it comes to workplace policies and guidelines on extended sick leave, a quarter of employees say they would not be paid for a period of sick leave;.
2 in 3 said they would be paid for up to one month but this drops significantly to one third for sick leave stretching beyond six months.
Almost 9 in 10 of those surveyed described themselves as being “reasonably healthy” or “very healthy".
Commenting on the findings of the ‘Friends First Employee Protection Index’, Karen Gallagher, Protection Director with Friends First, said:
“The research shows that mental health has the potential to impact on us all and the effects of stress and anxiety know no boundaries."
"It is also concerning to see that a large cohort of workers remain financially unprepared. Income protection as a form of cover is often overlooked in the false optimism of our ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude. I would really implore income earners to think about taking steps to safeguard one of their most valuable assets, their ability to sustainably earn a living.”
According to Friends First, the company paid out €37.5 million on income protection policies to over 1,500 claimants in 2017.