Managers' sick leave recommendations for employees with common mental disorders: a cross-sectional video vignette study.BMC Psychol. 2023 Feb 24; 11(1):52.BP
To better understand the initial phases of sickness absence due to common mental disorders (CMD), the aim of the present video vignette study was to test the following three hypotheses: (1) Managers who have negative attitudes towards employees with CMD will not recommend sick leave. (2) Managers with experience of CMD recommend sick leave to a significantly higher extent than managers lacking this experience. (3) Managers with previous experience of recommending sick leave for people with CMD will recommend sick leave to a significantly higher extent also based on the vignettes.
An online survey, including a CMD-labelled video vignette, was sent to 4737 Swedish managers (71% participated, n = 3358). For aims (1) and (2), a study sample consisting of 2714 managers was used. For aim (3), due to the design of the survey questions, a subsample (n = 1740) was used.
There was no significant association between negative attitudes towards employee depression and managers' recommendation of employee sick leave with the vignette case. The bivariate analysis showed that personal experience of CMD was associated with managers' recommendation of employee sick leave. In the adjusted regression model, it became non-significant. Previous experience of recommending sick leave to one employee and to several employees was associated with recommending sick leave, also when adjusting for gender, level of education, years of managerial experience, and management training on CMDs CONCLUSIONS: The likelihood of a manager recommending sick leave after watching a CMD-labelled video vignette was higher if the manager had previous experience of this situation in real life. This study highlights the importance of including managerial behaviours and attitudes to better understand sick leave among employees with CMD.