Government unveils new mental health core standards for employers
7th November 2017
The Government recently published ‘Thriving at Work’, an independent review into how employers can better support all employees, including those with poor mental health, and foster wellbeing in the workplace.
The research, conducted by Paul Farmer and Dennis Stevenson, highlighted that each year about 300,000 people with long term mental health problems lose their jobs, with 15% of people at work showing symptoms of a mental health issue. As well as the high human costs involved for individuals, both in their work and personal life, findings revealed that poor mental health is costing up to £42 billion a year to employers.
Mental health wellbeing is vital for individuals and the economy to thrive. Prioritising mental health issues should be considered a priority by employers, both because of the savings this would bring and because, due to their role, they have the potential to make a greater impact.
Following the publication, the Prime Minister has asked the IFB, as the voice of family business, to support the Government's efforts to shed light on this important issue.
To facilitate fostering mental health wellbeing, the review has set out 6 key recommendations, or ‘mental health core standards’, that should be adopted by all employers, regardless of size and industry.
- Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan that promotes good mental health of all employees and outlines the support available for those who may need it;
- Develop mental health awareness among employees by making information, tools and support accessible;
- Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling, during the recruitment process and at regular intervals throughout employment, offer appropriate workplace adjustments to employees who require them;
- Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development;
- Promote effective people management to ensure all employees have a regular conversation about their health and well-being with their line manager, supervisor or organisational leader and train and support line managers and supervisors in effective management practices;
- Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing by understanding available data, talking to employees, and understanding risk factors.
You can find out more about the review and mental health wellbeing in the workplace here.