Advice for employers
The costs associated with poor mental health in the workplace amount to nearly £1.2bn a year in Wales.
The stigma that still stops many people being open about their mental ill health means that you may not be aware of the extent of the problem in your business, but you can expect that at any one time, one in six of your workforce will be experiencing mental ill health. Even when employers are aware of an issue, they often feel unsure as to how to respond.
The good news Taking some simple steps to ensure your policies and practices promote good mental health and that all line managers know how to respond to mental ill health can significantly cut the costs of sickness absence, reduced productivity (due to ‘presenteeism’) and increased staff turnover, as well as fostering good staff morale and increasing staff loyalty.
What employers can do
Making sure your workplace has effective mental health policies and practices will benefit both your business and your employees. It can result in significant cost savings (in terms of reduced sickness absence and staff turnover and improved productivity) and generate goodwill and loyalty amongst staff who, in turn, will benefit from improved wellbeing and access to support should they become unwell.
Some simple first steps:
1.Recognise that poor mental health is an important issue for your business to address.
2.Develop policies that seek to minimise work-related mental ill health (through providing mentally healthy working conditions and practices) and that ensure appropriate support is in place for those employees who do experience mental ill health. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a guide for employers which will help you develop such policies.
3.Ensure all line managers are trained in how to respond to employees experiencing mental ill health. We offer a range of training and support packages that can be adapted to suit the specific needs of your organisation.
4.Run awareness raising campaigns within your workplace, to ensure all staff are aware of what policies and support you have in place and to create an environment where people feel safe to discuss their mental health without fear of discrimination.