“A total of 3.2 days per worker are lost each year through workplace stress,” says the Australian Human Rights Commission. Even though workers compensation claims have increased dramatically over the years, recent researches indicate that most workers are not willing to make a claim for psychological issues caused by work demand and environment.
45% unclaimed work-related mental conditions
According to a research conducted by the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR) and the University of Sydney, many Australians are hesitant to seek workers’ compensation for medical treatment pertaining to work-related stress, depression and anxiety.
The research analysed 486,400 general practitioners (GP) consultations across Australia and found that many patients coming with work-related mental illnesses paid for checkups and treatment with their own money.
About 22% of workers who consult their physician with general work-induced issues did not make any compensation claims, and up to 45% of those experiencing psychological stressors at work chose to be quiet about their condition.
Chief Research Officer, Dr. Alex Collie says that this may be due to two reasons: ignorance and fear. Some workers are simply unaware that they can make such claims. “They can. However, there are certain factors that will determine your ability to claim workers compensation,” says Separovic Injury Lawyers.
Others are afraid of exposing psychological illnesses because of the likely stigma in the workplace.
The research also reveals that people living in major cities are likely to claim for compensation than those living in remote areas. According to data, 23% of work-related GP consultations in metro areas were not claimed, versus the 39% in outer regional areas.
Australian businesses lose over $6.5 billion annually just because they fail to give early intervention and treatment to workers with mental health conditions. This should convince company owners to implement holistic care services for their employees, both for the worker’s sake and theirs.
If you believe you are experiencing work-related stress and other psychological illnesses that have brought a large impact on your productivity and general well-being, never hesitate to make a claim and get the treatment you need.