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Mental health ‘is a priority’


National Grid and 32 other household names called for the mental wellbeing of employees to be made a priority

NATIONAL GRID

More than 30 leading businesses have pledged to prioritise mental health as employees return to work after research showed that more than a third of workers were struggling.

Unilever, the consumer goods group, Barclays, Lloyds, Morgan Stanley and Santander, the banks, and National Grid and Eon, the energy groups, are among 33 companies that signed an open letter detailing the commitment.


“The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on the mental health of UK employees,” they wrote, citing a recent survey by Mind, the mental health charity. It found that 35 per cent of people in work described their mental health as being “poor” or “very poor” and that returning to work was causing them to feel anxious.


The companies pledged to “put employee mental health at the heart of returning to work” and called on others to do the same, including by signing up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment. The framework was established last year to encourage businesses to improve standards of mental health care.


“Employers need to prioritise psychological safety as well as physical safety,” the letter said. It is also backed by the CBI and the Federation of Small Businesses and is led by the Thriving at Work leadership council.


Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir,

A group of 33 British employers today pledge to put employee mental health at the heart of returning to work.

The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on the mental health of UK employees.


A survey of more than 16,000 people during lockdown by the charity Mind has revealed that 35 per cent of people in work would describe their mental health as being poor or very poor.

The survey also revealed that returning to work is causing UK employees to feel worried and anxious.


There has never been a more important time to build back better when it comes to supporting employee mental health and wellbeing. As a group of leading employers and industry bodies in Britain, we are committed to doing this.


During the past few months, we have:

● Supported frontline workers through the Our Frontline campaign, with 130,000 making contact.

● Helped hundreds of thousands of people to access information about looking after their mental health.

● Encouraged employers to support their staff by sharing best practice across a range of platforms.


We are now asking businesses of all sizes to put employee mental health at the heart of the recovery discussion. To do this, employers need to prioritise psychological safety as well as physical safety.


Employers can start by:

● Signing up to the Mental Health at Work Commitment and adopting the six standards.

● Reviewing the mental health support provided to employees and making sure it is fit for purpose in response to the impact of coronavirus, including in relation to employee assistance programmes.

● Visiting www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk to access quality assured information, resources and toolkits.


Signatories: Anglian Water Group; AXA; Barclays; Bupa; Business in the Community; CIPD; Civil Service; Confederation of British Industry; Costain; Deloitte UK; E.ON; Edelman; Eversheds Sutherland; Federation of Small Businesses; Gympass; Institute of Directors; Lloyds Banking Group; Matrix Law; Medivet; Mental Health Innovations; Mercer Marsh Benefits; Mind; Morgan Stanley; National Grid; Nuffield Health; P&G; Pets at Home; Roots HR CIC; Royal Mail; Samaritans; Santander; Society of Occupational Medicine; Unilever.


Originally published on: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mental-health-is-a-priority-lfd27dr3b

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