The Government's Department of Health advises that one in four people experience mental ill health in their lifetimes. Mental health is no longer an unknown disability and it is time to consider how much your business is affected.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, ("ACAS") published at the end of October a new guidance document to aid employers in their understanding of mental health in the workplace and the procedures which can be put in place to help reduce the impact on business efficiency.
The 'Thriving at work – Stevenson/Farmer review' published by the Department for Work and Pensions reviews the way both public sector and private sector employers deal with mental health in the modern day workplace.
The review suggests ways employers can improve productivity in their workplace by boosting employee mental health. Some of these suggestions are set out below:
- Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
- Develop mental health awareness among employees
- Encourage open conversations about mental health and support available to employees
- Provide your employees with good working conditions
- Promote effective people management
- Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing
The report states "it is massively in the interest of both employers and Government to prioritise and invest far more in improving mental health", especially as estimations show the annual cost to employers is between £33 and £42 billion.
The ACAS guidance on 'Promoting positive mental health in the workplace' reiterates many of the points highlighted in the Stevenson/Farmer review. The ACAS 'Model Workplace' develops building blocks that apply to every business.
- To help managers set the tone for the way people should interact together
- To invoice employees in decisions about their jobs and listen to their input on how things are done in the workplace
- Manage organisation change effectively
- Allow workers greater control in the way they carry out their day to day work.
If you feel that your business could benefit from advice on how to implement procedures, such as those concerning mental health, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak with a member of our dedicated Employment solicitors. Contact us today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham offices.