The Emergence and Impact of Mental Health Leave Policies on Employee Wellbeing and Productivity


  • Dr. A. Shaji George Independent Researcher, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India



Workplace wellbeing, Employee support, Burnout prevention, Work-life balance, Absenteeism, Mental healthcare, Productivity, Stress reduction, Paid time off, Workplace culture


Recently, there has been a growing concern about the state of mental health in workplaces around the globe. There is a concerning pattern emerging from multiple surveys, indicating a rise in employee dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and stress levels across different sectors. According to US statistics, approximately 22% of workers report feeling depressed at work. Furthermore, an alarming 50% of employees report daily attacks of stress. In India, a sizable minority of employees are unsatisfied with their jobs, whereas in China, the majority of workers report feeling exhausted and dissatisfied at work. The numbers reported here reflect a growing global concern about employees' mental health. There are numerous complex elements that contribute to this phenomenon. These include long working hours, high expectations inside firms, and a common culture of being always connected to work as a result of technology, which blurs the border between personal and professional lives. Furthermore, concerns about job stability or lack thereof can contribute to a reduction in employees' mental health. This sensation is frequently caused by having to manage a large workload without adequate control over one's own work, as well as coping with conflicts among colleagues. It can be difficult to traverse these surroundings successfully. It is critical to take into account both organizational and societal challenges. Many people nowadays suffer money anxieties, familial obligations, and concerns about their physical health, which exacerbates their already difficult conditions. With the introduction of COVID-19, things have grown even more convoluted, throwing us off guard and intensifying the already existing burden on our collective wellbeing. The pressure that was already seething beneath the surface has been increased. Finally, it is critical to address the issues that modern enterprises face, particularly in light of the current situation. The best way forward is to prioritize emotional intelligence and to be aware of the psychological climate both inside and outside of the organization. Some businesses are now implementing mental health leave programs in response to these issues. An interesting example is a Chinese retail chain that introduced a policy called "sad leave," enabling employees to take up to ten days off annually to prioritize their mental well-being. The objective is to assist employees in attaining a more favorable work-life equilibrium and giving priority to their overall well-being when required. Additional examples include technology companies such as software tech giant and social media companies like Bumble, which provide their employees with "care leave" or "wellness leave" specifically for mental health purposes. It is becoming increasingly evident that prioritizing employees' mental health is essential for fostering a productive and healthy workforce. The expansion of these regulations is a testament to this growing awareness. The regulations regarding mental health leave are a positive step forward, although their impact and efficacy remain uncertain. We are interested in determining whether employees utilize this leave when it is accessible, whether it has a positive impact on mental health and job outcomes, and whether any issues or complaints arise. It seems that workers are increasingly recognizing the importance of prioritizing their mental health. In 2021, there was a significant increase in the number of sick days taken by UK government employees specifically for mental health reasons. However, there may still be obstacles to overcome, such as concerns about societal judgment or the potential impact on one's employment. One point to consider is that mental health leave may only provide temporary relief and may not address underlying issues, particularly in cases of toxic work environments or other systemic problems. Nevertheless, the fact that these policies are still in their early stages indicates a growing awareness of the global mental health crisis among the workforces. Further research is crucial in order to fully understand the impact of these factors on employee mental health and identify ways in which society and businesses can improve it.




How to Cite

Dr. A. Shaji George. (2024). The Emergence and Impact of Mental Health Leave Policies on Employee Wellbeing and Productivity. Partners Universal International Innovation Journal, 2(2), 99–120.