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Is taking a sick day for mental health acceptable?

Despite greater focus on mental health, British workers don’t believe mental health is a legitimate reason for taking time off work. Just 13% have taken a day off due to stress.

In contrast, 94% of HR professionals believe depression or anxiety is an adequate reason to call in sick, and 80% believe workplace stress is a legitimate reason for a sick day, according to research from CABA.

Laura Little, learning and development manager at CABA, said: “One in four people experiences a mental health issue every year, so it is reassuring to learn that HRs agree stress, depression and anxiety are valid reasons for employees to call in sick. It’s extremely important for businesses to promote a supportive, non-judgmental ethos to encourage employees to take time off if they need it and, most importantly, to encourage conversation if people are struggling. Our research shows that 80% of HRs agree that physical symptoms such as back or joint pain is an acceptable reason to call in sick, so it is a step in the right direction that mental ill health is being recognised in the same way.”

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