I recently attended a conference on mental health – This Can Happen. In one of the sessions, Headspace presented their findings of a global 5,000-employee survey. They found that the majority of management reported that they are supporting employees’ mental health, whereas the majority of employees claimed that they were not. Clearly there’s some disconnect.
Businesses have done many things to help their employees manage their mental health during and since the pandemic. However, support needs to evolve and continue as the survey shows that employees expect their employers to continue to help them with their mental health.
The legal bit
Legally employers owe a legal duty of care to employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 ‘to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all of his [or her…] employees.’
But it goes further than that; employees expect it and good business sense demands it. One CEO described how the people agenda was more important to him than anything else. He said he spent 50% of his time on employees – if your people are safe and happy, they will do a good job and customers/ clients will be happy too.
Employers therefore need to have wellbeing/ mental health/ wellness /mental fitness as an ongoing item on the ‘to-do’ list.