BOSSES risk overlooking the danger signs of stress, anxiety and depression among their workers, it was said today.

Arbitration and conciliation service Acas said mental health problems in the workplace could be very disruptive for individuals and businesses alike.

They affected employees’ wellbeing and morale and hit their performance at work.

The organisation said people suffering from depression took an average of 30 days off for each sickness absence spell while almost three in every 10 employees will have a mental health problem in any one year.

Acas highlighted the problems at the start of Depression Awareness Week.

Wendy Parker, Acas area director for Yorkshire, said: “Spotting and doing something about troubled employees is an important business skill.

“As well as being good managers in the traditional sense we urge bosses to look out for early indicators before they develop into something more serious, like stress or depression. Healthy and content workers translate directly into productive employees.”

Ms Parker said bosses should look out for warning signs, including employees exhibiting uncharacteristic behaviour, such as not being able to cope with their work, seeming distracted, loss of motivation and absenteeism.

Employers could help by talking to employees who have about their problems, training human resource staff to deal with depression sensitively and introducing policies to promote occupational health.