Unplanned leaves, employee stress & attrition cost India Inc $14 billion: Deloitte

Unplanned leaves, employee stress & attrition cost India Inc $14 billion: Deloitte
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  • A report by Deloitte suggests that poor mental health amongst employees cost Indian employers ₹1.1 lakh crore or $14 billion in the past one year.
  • At least 29% of the employees took planned or unplanned leave to deal with workplace-related stressors.
  • Around 20% of the employees surveyed left their jobs or work to manage their mental health.
The Covid-19 led mental health crisis among employees not only had a social impact cost but an economic cost as well.

According to a Deloitte report, 80% of the Indian workforce reported mental health issues during the past one year and it has cost organisations ₹1.1 lakh crore or $14 billion.

Out of the ₹1.1 lakh crore, ₹14,000 crore was the cost of absenteeism, while presenteeism cost ₹51,000 crore and employee turnover cost ₹45,000 crore.

Absenteeism refers to unplanned leave taken due to mental health reasons. At least 29% of them took it to deal with workplace-related stressors.

Presenteeism is the phenomenon of attending to work while under mental stress and hence, performing at low productivity. Its effect is much higher than attrition and shows how much work stress can impact productivity.


“These costs build up over time and are incurred when poor mental health impacts how individuals deal with day-to-day stressors and are unable to thrive in their work environment,” says the report.

Another cost that employers have to bear because of poor mental health in the workplace is employee turnover—the measure of the number of employees who leave an organisation during a specified time due to mental health reasons. Around 20% of the employees surveyed left their jobs or work to manage their mental health.

Around 47% professionals surveyed consider workplace-related stress as the biggest factor affecting their mental health, followed by financial and Covid-19 challenges.

The report further highlights that the total absence due to mental health conditions — stress, depression, anxiety, and other serious mental health conditions – is expected to rise even further.

“Not only is the number of impacted employees large, the degree of the challenge is also high, accentuated by performance-oriented cultures anchored in long and demanding work schedules, economic uncertainty, and peer comparison especially on social media platforms,” said Charu Sehgal, partner and life sciences and health care leader, DTTILLP.

IT sector employees are the most stressed

The IT sector reported the highest percentage of employees with mental health symptoms due to Covid-19, followed by consulting & business advisory, and banking financial services.

SectorPercentage of mental health cases reported
Consulting & business advisory60%
Banking financial services60%
Technology, e-commerce, and start-ups57%
Source: Deloitte report

The IT sector has also witnessed a whopping 22% of attrition rate — the highest in India when compared with other industries.

“It is essential that senior leaders play a major role in destigmatising mental health challenges within their organisations. We need to take the necessary steps to create an environment where employees’ well-being is prioritised, and they have access to the support they need, so that everyone can thrive,” said Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO.

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