To say the last couple of years have been challenging for Australian workers is a major understatement. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, they’ve had plenty to deal with, from juggling home schooling and work commitments, to worrying about whether they’d even have a job a couple of months down the track.

Managing post-Covid employee burn-out

Fifty-one per cent of Australians working during Covid-19 reported feeling stressed as a result of changes in work routine and organisation, according to 2021 Ipsos research. The same number cited increased anxiety around job insecurity as a significant challenge.

Those working on the frontline, for instance in healthcare roles, have done it particularly tough. Dedicated employees put in many hours at the height of the crisis to keep the healthcare system operational, the supermarket shelves stacked and the elderly and vulnerable protected. They sweated their way through long weeks and months wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), they contended with staff shortages and they faced the emotionally difficult task of supporting COVID-19 sufferers and their families.

Meanwhile, individuals whose employers pivoted to remote working faced a different set of challenges during the long months of lockdown, with 45 per cent stating they felt lonely and isolated while toiling at home, according to Ipsos.


It’s little surprise many workers are now battling physical and mental health issues including, in some cases, overwhelming feelings of stress and exhaustion. This is the definition of employee or workplace burnout, a condition which can lead to fatigue, behavioural changes, anxiety and depression.

Individuals who develop employee burnout may be entitled to workers compensation for mental injuries they suffer in the course of their employment, provided they can show a substantial connection between their work and the symptoms they are experiencing.

That means demonstrating that their condition constitutes an ‘injury’ under the workers compensation legislation in the relevant jurisdiction.

If an employee burnout claim is disputed, the assessor will examine work and non-work related factors before making a determination.


Prevention is always better than cure. Fostering a healthy workplace is the best way to minimise the incidence of employee burnout within your team.

In volatile and uncertain times, it’s critical to support mental well-being, says Steadfast technical broker manager Annette O’Brien.

“Depending on the nature of the business, leaders may need to support a gamut of measures,” O’Brien says. “These could include providing the right equipment so employees can discharge their duties effectively, ensuring work-stations are ergonomically sound, and having enough staff available to manage the workload.”

Offering support, counselling and treatment services – and encouraging workers to make use of them – can help teams maintain good mental health when circumstances are challenging.

“Employees who don’t have access to appropriate support mechanisms are far more likely to suffer psychiatric injury or quit their jobs,” O’Brien says. “Providing them with support that could prevent this occurring is good for them and good for your business too.”

A broker can help you determine whether you have adequate workers compensation cover for your business. Contact your AIB broker today to find out more about your business insurance and the level of protection it provides.

Important notice – Steadfast Group Limited ABN 98 073 659 677

This general information does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also not financial advice, nor complete, so please discuss the full details with your Steadfast insurance broker as to whether this business interruption insurance is appropriate for you. Deductibles, exclusions and limits apply. This insurance is issued by various insurers and can differ. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and any Target Market Determination in deciding whether to buy or renew this type of insurance.