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Human Resources, Mental Health

Wellbeing initiatives in the spotlight as support for workers wanes

ADP Research Institute 3 mins read

Over half (57%) of Australian workers admit that stress is affecting their work performance, as revealed in a new survey of over 1,400 Australian workers. The ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View, also found that Australian workers say they are getting less support from their managers than last year.

Most worryingly, the proportion of Australian workers who say they feel supported by their managers when it comes to mental health at work has fallen from 66% in 2021 to 56% in 2022. 41% believe that their managers are ill-equipped to talk about mental health issues without judgement.

In terms of what Australian employers are doing to promote positive mental health at work, workers also report that employers are less likely than last year to check in with them, provide wellbeing days off, offer special counselling services or allow stress management breaks. 

Instead, team-building activities and employee assistance programmes are gaining traction as mental health-boosting initiatives.

Kylie Baullo, Managing Director ANZ at ADP, comments: “Despite the significant support provided by many Australian employers towards mental health during the pandemic, it is crucial for them to remain vigilant as employees continue to face a tremendous amount of strain.”

“A workplace culture that prioritises empathy and overall well being holds immense value for both employers and staff. When individuals feel understood and able to take action towards ensuring positive wellbeing, they are more likely to perform their duties effectively, require less sick leave, and hold a more positive outlook towards the company they work for.”


“Implementing employee assistance programs is one way that Australian employers are formalising their wellbeing support systems. It is essential to integrate mental health and stress support mechanisms into the day-to-day working environment and train managers to effectively manage these issues.”


While more work needs to be done to improve the mental health of Australian workers, many now report that their employers are making progress on developing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. One in six (16%) say that creating an inclusive workplace culture is a key part of their employer’s support for positive mental health at work, up from 10% in 2021. 


People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future. 




For more insights, please read the ‘People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View’ report.

About the research


ADP Research Institute® surveyed 32,612 workers in 17 countries around the world between 28 October and 18 November 2022 including over 8,613 working exclusively in the gig economy. This included:

  • 7,721 in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India and Singapore) 

  • 15,290 in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK) 

  • 5,751 in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile) 

  • 3,850 in North America (USA and Canada).


Within the worker sample gig workers and traditional workers were identified. Gig workers were identified as those who work on a contingent, temporary, or seasonal basis, or as a freelancer, independent contractor, consultant, gig worker, or use an online platform to source work. Traditional employees were identified as those who are not working in the gig economy and instead have a permanent full or part-time position. 


The survey was conducted online in the local language. Overall results are weighted to represent the size of the working population for each country. Weightings are based on labour force data from the World Bank, which is derived using data from the ILOSTAT database, the central statistics database of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as of February 8, 2022.

Key Facts:

  • New research from leading HCM solutions provider ADP shows that 57% of Australian workers say stress adversely affects work

  • Compared to last year, there has been a 10% decrease in the number of individuals who feel supported by their managers with regards to their mental health

  • Australian employers’ initiatives to promote positive mental health have changed significantly since last year

About us:


Designing better ways to work through cutting-edge products, premium services and exceptional experiences that enable people to reach their full potential. HR, Talent, Benefits, Payroll and Compliance informed by data and designed for people. Learn more at


ADP and the ADP logo are registered trademarks of ADP, Inc.  All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2023 ADP, Inc.  

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