Health and wellbeing in the workplace: Are you doing enough?

According to a recent government report, 1 in 4 people in the UK will have mental health problem at some point in life and 1 in 6 workers has a mental health problem right now.

Workplace stress and mental health issues are on the rise. They account for 39% of work related absence with 11.3 million working days lost a year. Interestingly, 95% of employees give their employer an alternative reason for absence if they are off work due to stress.

The cost of poor mental health to the economy as a whole, when viewed in terms of lost output is estimated between £74 and £99 billion per year. The cost of poor mental health to employers across the UK is between £33 and £42 billion per year.

What can employers do?

Employers could:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan.
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees.
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling.
  • Provide employees with good working conditions.
  • Promote effective people management.
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.

What Does the Law Say?

The law provides protection for employees who suffer from a disability under the Equality Act 2010. Amongst other things, an employer discriminates against a disabled person by failing to comply with its duty to make reasonable adjustments where a disabled job applicant or employee is placed at a substantial disadvantage.

DLP recommends employers keep sickness absence under regular review. Employers should also meet with employees who are absent, either on their return as part of a back to work meeting, or at a sickness review meeting, with a view to discussing their absence, their health, and what assistance might be required.

Should you have any questions feel free to reach out to our help line. DLP advisors are available to answer any questions you may have at 0330 400 4495.

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