Employers need to be more proactive about helping employees who have returned to work after long-term illness as they are at greater risk of suffering from depression.

That is according to a report published by the Occupational Health at Work journal, which also revealed that some employees found it harder to tell their managers about their depression than their original condition.

Commenting on the results of the report, Susan Scott, chief executive of Employers’ Forum on Disability suggested that there are strategies which HR departments can adopt to help ease the problem.

Ms Scott explained: "Best practice on mental health at work is often about common-sense principles like mental health awareness training and using cost-free, good management techniques.

"Above all, adjustments need to have the support of both employees and employers to be a success."

Sue Baker, Time to Change director was quoted on mental health charity Mind’s website as saying that mental health issues are "one of our last great taboos".