HR Staff Sixth Most Likely To Take Time Off Work For Their Mental Health

A recent UK study has revealed which sectors are the most likely to need to take time off work for their mental wellbeing, with healthcare topping the list (26 per cent) followed by those working in the media (23 per cent) and those working in education (21 per cent)*.

This research into the mental wellbeing of Britons was conducted after the inventor of income protection discovered that seven per cent of all claims made in 2018 were related to mental health. The research sought to find out how each sector was affected by absence relating to mental wellbeing. A total of 3,000 adults aged 18 and over from the UK, were quizzed as part of the study. Respondents were split evenly across 15 key sectors.

Initially, participants were asked, “Have you ever taken time off work for your mental health?”.  A list of sectors topping the charts was created, and HR scores high at 6th place overall

1. Healthcare – 26 per cent (of employees have taken time off work for their mental wellbeing)
2. Media – 23 per cent
3. Education – 21 per cent
4. Banking/Finance – 19 per cent
5. Public Sector – 17 per cent
6. HR/Personnel – 15 per cent
7. Retail – 13 per cent
8. Marketing – 12 per cent
9. Construction – 11 per cent
10. Transport/Travel – nine per cent

When asked to elaborate on the reason for their mental wellbeing-related absence from work, if they felt comfortable doing so, the vast majority blamed it on burnout/stress (68 per cent).  Relevant respondents were found to have taken an average of three weeks off for their mental wellbeing; of which a third (34 per cent) said they received their full pay during this time and 57 per cent said they received reduced pay.

Of those who had suffered with their mental health, just one in five (21 per cent) said that they had gone to speak to a professional about this, with those that didn’t citing long wait times (78 per cent) and not knowing where to turn (20 per cent) as reasons. Finally, relevant participants were asked if they believed that their work had contributed to their poor mental health to which nine in 10 (92 per cent) said that they thought it had.

Georgia d’Esterre, Head of Marketing at, said,

Looking after your mental health is often far harder than looking after your physical self. After finding that one in 14 of our claims last year were related to mental wellbeing, we wanted to see how each sector is affected by this growing crisis. With mental health services overstretched and employees having to work harder than ever before just to make ends meet, we need to remember to take the time to look after ourselves.

The horrid thing is that money is often a massive cause for worry which can contribute to mental health issues. Having to take prolonged time off work can be scary in these situations as your pay is never guaranteed.

*Conducted by the team at


Interested in mental health? We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019 and Mental Health Awareness training day.





Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

Aphrodite has had a variety of high profile industry clients as a freelancer, and previously worked for a number of years as an Editor and Journalist for

Aphrodite is also a professional painter.