Mental Health Support For Employees: More Crucial Than Ever

Two separate pieces of research have revealed just how important mental health support for employees is. It begs the question: Are you fulfilling your duty of care as an employer and supporting your employees’ physical and mental health?

‘Mental mindset’ key to financial wellbeing

Five out of six people are in a position to improve their financial wellbeing by changing their mental mindset, according to new research from insurer Aegon.

For the research, Aegon garnered responses from 10,000 people, including more than 1.3m data points. It reveals some of the key problems that are holding back 45m UK individuals when it comes to improving their mindset on money matters.

The most widespread matter is the lack of a financial plan to achieve long-term goals, a problem for 87% of the population. Furthermore, 38% of people have only a vague idea of where they want to be financially in 10 years’ time, compared to 29% with a specific idea. Less than a third (28%) have only a vague sense of what gives them joy or purpose, which are identified as key elements of happiness.

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Employers could face legal action over inadequate mental health support

Meanwhile, separate research reveals how many businesses have got caught up focussing on the logistical challenges of staff working from home and have neglected their wellbeing as a result.

According to the study by risk management firm Gallagher, sadly, more than two in five employees working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic have received no mental health support from their employer.

Just as concerning is the fact the research also found that many employers don’t fully understand their legal responsibilities towards their employees when it comes to mental health support. 

Gallagher has warned that some organisations could face legal action if they are found to be lacking in their duty of care towards their employees in this respect.

Employers responsible even when employees are off-site

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees — even when they are not working on company premises. This includes their mental health and stress. 

However, according to the Gallagher research, just under a third (31%) of business leaders are completely unaware of this. Furthermore, the majority (58%) say they are unsure of their responsibilities when it comes to employees’ mental health.

The risk management firm says the mental health of home workers has become a big problem during the pandemic, with around 1.5m (15%) of the over 10m people currently working from home saying their mental health has suffered as a result due to the associated stress.

Is it any wonder, then, that Gallagher’s research also uncovered how almost one in 10 workers said working from home has led them to drinking more alcohol and is causing them to suffer sleep problems?

The Gallagher research involved 1,000 business leaders and 2,000 UK employees.

What measures has your organisation implemented to ensure your duty of care in terms of mental health support for employees is fulfilled?

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Author: Claire Ginnelly - Managing Director