KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian workplaces still have work to do when it comes to overall mental health and stress support for employees, according to Jobstreet by SEEK's 2024 Hiring, Compensation and Benefits Report.

Managing director at Jobstreet by SEEK in Malaysia Vic Sithasanan in a statement said the report revealed that 18 per cent of hirers categorised their workplace as 'highly stressful' with the consumer services industry being the most stressful, followed by retail and trade.

"By prioritising mental health support, organisations not only demonstrate care for their employees but also foster a more productive and sustainable work environment.

"According to the report, the top causes of stress for employees include a heavy workload (37 per cent), a lack of training or support (30 per cent) and high pressure from management or a fast-paced environment (29 per cent)," he said.

He said that the report also finds that companies overall provide mental health or wellness talks on average 3.9 times per year, with many employees looking forward to extending additional paternity and maternity leave as well as introducing menstrual leave.

Vic said 37 per cent out of 454 hiring professionals surveyed by the report, acknowledge their current efforts to be only "adequate", indicating significant room for improvement.

"More companies are also offering mental health and wellness talks, with 32 per cent hosting such events more than six times a year, averaging 3.9 times annually.

"Nonetheless, there remains a need for enhancement as 28 per cent of organisations only hold these talks once a year," he said.

Meanwhile, he added that many companies in the country are looking at extending additional paternity and maternity leave by 12 per cent and 11 per cent respectively, taking into account evolving family dynamics and employee needs.

He also said despite positive developments, only six per cent of the companies surveyed are currently providing menstrual leave whereas five per cent plans to add menstrual leave in the next 12 months.

"It's challenging for employers to continually adapt to changing employee needs and priorities, but our report shows that companies in Malaysia are mostly aware of where they can improve, and many are open to rolling out new or improved policies that align with the expectation of their workforce," he said.

Vic said that the report serves as a valuable resource for employers, HR professionals and policymakers, offering data-driven insights to inform strategic decision-making and drive positive change in the country's workplaces.