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Employee health and wellbeing

Currently in Australia, untreated depression and anxiety cost employers $10.9 billion every year, largely through reduced productivity, absenteeism, and WorkCover claims1. Managers play a pivotal role in the development of a health and safety culture—both through the behaviours they model and the expectations placed on employees.

What is a Psychosocial Safety Climate (PSC)? 

PSC relates to the psychological health of workers. Worker's compensation claims in Australia over the last 10 years indicate a steady increase in psychological injuries. These types of claims incur the largest proportion of expense in relation to compensation claims2.

Agencies with a high PSC have an average unscheduled absence rate of almost 2 days lower than the overall APS average. These agencies place a priority on the health and wellbeing of their employees. They are workplaces where managers are quick to correct problems or issues affecting employees' psychological health, and where employees are active participants in monitoring risks and shaping the workplace.

Agency PSC can be improved by simple, low cost strategies. See our blog post here.

Tools and resources

Managers can build a team culture, with a positive psychosocial climate through these actions:

Building a safe and inclusive workplace culture is the responsibility of all employees. However, research indicates that management styles that are characterised by openness and encouragement of employee participation are more likely to promote a positive safety culture.

Workplace health and wellbeing programs increase employee engagement, leading to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. If you would like to know more, information is available at HeadsUp, Comcare and SafeWork Australia.

Included below are resources you may find useful. We will continue to add more in the coming months:

1 https://www.headsup.org.au/creating-a-mentally-healthy-workplace/getting-started/tips-for-creating-a-mentally-healthy-workplace

2 Safe Work Australia: The Incidence of Accepted Workers' Compensation Claims for Mental Stress in Australia, April 2013

Last reviewed: 
8 June 2018