Poor mental health costs Welsh employers £1,557 a year per employee, according to analysis by Deloitte.

The research also found that the figure was £45bn per year across the UK - a rise of 16 per cent since 2016, which is an extra £6bn a year.

For employers in Wales, the research reveals that the annual cost of a worker leaving their job for mental health reasons is £212 per employee.

The research also looks at how employers can take steps to negate the costs and finds that it pays to support employees’ mental health.

On average, for every £1 spent on supporting their people’s mental health, employers get £5 back on their investment in reduced presenteeism, absenteeism and staff turnover

Analysis from ‘Mental health and employers: the case for refreshing investment’ shows that higher return on employers’ investment can be achieved by early interventions, such as organisation-wide culture change and education, than more in-depth support that may be needed at a later stage when a person is struggling.

Ian Howse, a partner at Deloitte in Wales, said: “As our ways of working evolve, so do expectations of employers about how we should support our people. This analysis shows very clearly that it pays for employers to provide mental health support at work.

“With one in four adults in Wales likely to experience mental ill health at some point in their lives, it’s something that Welsh businesses of all sizes could consider implementing for their workforce.”

The increase in costs to employers can be attributed largely to a significant rise in mental-health-related ‘presenteeism’, where employees work when they are not at their most productive.

The analysis puts the cost of presenteeism for Welsh employers at £1,067 per employee each year. Presenteeism is part of a complex picture in which people with poor mental health continue to work when they are not at their most productive, rather than take time off.

Mental-health related absenteeism also has a cost associated with it. When staff members are off work for reasons related to mental health conditions, the cost to an employer in Wales works out to be £278 per employee per year.

When comparing the costs of someone being absent due to mental health reasons and someone in the same situation continuing to work when not at full capacity, the figures indicate that presenteeism over absenteeism costs Welsh employers nearly four times as much each year.