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78% of employees may quit their jobs due to high stress

Mental health care is now a necessity in the hectic work world of today, not a luxury. The worrying status of mental health support in the workplace and its significant impact on employee retention are revealed by a recent survey conducted by Unum UK, a top provider of employee benefits. This blog article explores the results and the crucial actions that employers need to take to close this gap.

 The rising tide of workplace stress

The study conducted by Censuswide in September 2023, which surveyed 4,035 UK employees aged 16 to 69, reveals a startling truth: nearly eight in ten employees (78%) would consider quitting their jobs due to high-stress levels. This statistic places stress below salary (79%) as a primary factor influencing decisions to leave a job. With such high numbers, it’s clear that stress is not just a personal issue but a significant workplace crisis.

There is a significant cost to the economy associated with neglecting the mental health of workers. The UK economy lost a remarkable 17.1 million days due to sickness absences stemming from work-related stress, depression, and anxiety in just the past year. This demonstrates the human cost of insufficient workplace support, in addition to having an impact on the bottom line due to missed productivity.

A gap in support

According to the study, there is a “concerning gap” in the way that businesses assist their staff members’ mental health. Employees who responded to the poll expressed less than half (49%) that their company provides the policies and resources needed to adequately support their mental health. This disparity suggests that workplace mental health issues are not being addressed proactively, which may increase employee turnover.

The positive impact of well-being schemes

On a more hopeful note, the study found that 57% of respondents said that the implementation of health and well-being schemes would positively influence their decision to stay with their current employer. This demonstrates a clear demand for better health support and indicates that such initiatives could significantly improve employee retention.

The call to action for employers

Liz Walker, COO of Unum UK, emphasizes the urgency of addressing this issue: “It’s concerning enough to find that nearly 80% of the UK’s 30.4 million employees say workplace stress would influence them to seek another job. To then discover that work-related stress, depression, and anxiety together account for almost half of work-related sickness absence is far worse.”

Walker emphasizes that in order to promote workplace stress and general mental health, organizations must implement excellent, proactive strategies. Not only do uplifting, encouraging, and diverse work environments increase employee retention, but they also promote a happier, more engaged, and more productive team.


The report conducted by Unum UK provides employers around the United Kingdom with a critical wake-up call. Our strategy for promoting employee well-being must change as the workplace does. Businesses that make significant investments in mental health services not only make their workplaces more appealing to potential employees, but they also strengthen the resilience, productivity, and vibrancy of the economy. Let us narrow the divide and give workplace mental health the highest importance.