New report places focus on workplace wellbeing

26 October 2017

New report finds that up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year due to mental health issues.

New report places focus on workplace wellbeing

The Thriving at Work report finds that

 - There is a large annual cost to employers of between £33 billion and £42 billion (with over half of the cost coming from presenteeism – when individuals are less productive due to poor mental health in work) with additional costs from sickness absence and staff turnover.

 - The cost of poor mental health to Government is between £24 billion and £27 billion. This includes costs in providing benefits, falls in tax revenue and costs to the NHS.

 - The cost of poor mental health to the economy as a whole is more than both of those together from lost output, at between £74 billion and £99 billion per year.

Positive Vision 

As well as quantifying the problem the report goes on to share a positive vision for the future of workplace wellbeing:

 - Employees in all types of employment have good work, which contributes positively to their mental health, our society and our economy.

 - Every one of us will have the knowledge, tools and confidence, to understand and look after our own mental health and the mental health of those around us.

 - All organisations, whatever their size, will be: equipped with the awareness and tools to not only address but prevent mental ill-health caused or worsened by work; equipped to support individuals with a mental health condition to thrive from recruitment, and throughout the organisation; aware of how to get access to timely help to reduce sickness absence caused by mental ill health;

The report authors, Paul Farmer and Dennis Stevenson believe that "all of these measures result in dramatically reducing the proportion of people with a long term mental health condition who leave employment each year and ensure that all who can, benefit from the positive impacts of good work."

Redefining what we mean by Employee Assistance Programme

Commenting on the findings John Conaghan, Director of Inspire Professional Services said "as a mental health charity delivering an Employee Assistance Programme we really welcome this report and its findings. Thriving at Work quantifies and focuses on key issues we have been working on since our inception as Carecall.

Many things have changed in the 19 years Inspire have been providing work place wellbeing services.   Modern, progressive workplaces that want to invest in the wellbeing of their staff are demanding increasingly diverse services.  Employees expect a comprehensive range of high quality and easily accessible support.  Changing trends in HR practices, contemporary employment and equality law, a shifting emphasis in compliance requirements and quality standards and increased information on how wellbeing impacts on work are all playing a part in this dynamic, changing environment.

It’s really encouraging to note that the report recommends a positive suite of actions employers can take to address mental health in the workplace and many of these are encompassed in the services we offer as part of a modern, redefined Employee Assistance Programme.   

On the 29th November from 8.00am- 9.00am in the Hilton, Lanyon Place, Belfast, we are hosting a special breakfast briefing for employers interested in learning more about key changes in good practice and the dynamic developments shaping what a fit for purpose Employee Assistance Programme looks like in 2017 and beyond. If you would like to find out more contact Laura McEntee on l.mcentee@inspirewellbeing.org."

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