07:27 am, Tuesday 12 October, 2010
Preventable job stress is costing the Australian economy $730 million a year, a recently released report says.
The VicHealth-funded report was conducted by the University of Melbourne’s School of Population Health and Tasmania’s Menzies Research Institute.
It reveals that an estimated 1.5 million workers have been diagnosed with depression caused by excessive job stress, with costs reaching more than $8000 per worker each year.
According to the study, job strain is the perception of the employees that they have little control over their work because of long-term, high-stress job demands.
Released on Wednesday, the report said work-related stress is common but preventable. Businesses are adversely affected because it leads to lost productive time and employee replacement costs.
“These figures represent a significant burden on the Australian economy that is preventable by improving job quality,” he said.
Mr LaMontagne said that aside from ethical and legal reasons, there is an economic incentive for businesses to reduce job strain.
“Employers would be the major beneficiaries of reducing job strain over the long term, because the greatest costs fall on employers due to lost productivity and employee replacement.”