Employers are becoming increasingly aware that mental health problems are having a "huge" impact in the workplace. A growing number of staff are taking time off for depression and stress, according to recent research.

A new study of 30,000 workers and employees has found that mental health problems were listed as second behind muscle-related injuries as the most common reason for persistent absenteeism. Workers suffering from depression took an average of 30 days off each year, while stress-sufferers were away for 21 days, the poll found.

As a result of this growing problem, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called on the Government to introduce measures to make it easier for employers to provide their staff with affordable and accessible Occupational Health Services. The CIPD has suggested that the Government introduce tax incentives to encourage employers to provide Occupational Health Services.

The CIPD's Ben Wilmott stated that "this research shows how important it is for managers to be aware of the signs of mental ill health so that they can take action early… just as crucially, GPs need to work more closely with employers to identify opportunities for phased return-to-work for individuals with mental health problems in less demanding or reduced hours roles."