Are British employers shunning workplace mental health support for their staff?

Covid-19 News | Employment & Skills | Surveys

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In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, people management platform Employment Hero reveals new data on how employees and employers are managing mental health support in the workplace.

In a survey of more than 500 employers and 500 employees in the UK in March 2021, 48% of employers stated that they do not have budgets available to help support their employees’ mental health whilst 30% of employers do not know how to support their employees’ mental health.

When questioned, 44% of employees believe that mental health stigma is something they worry about in the workplace, with 46% of employees stating that they do feel worried about their mental health.

Research shows that only 48% of workplace employees in the UK agree that their organisation was supportive of Mental Health and 46% of employees reported that their organisation did not have the tools to measure mental health in the workplace.

Despite this, 65% of employers in the UK do believe that they are supportive of mental health in their organisation and when questioned, the majority of employees agreed that COVID had affected their anxiety levels and with remote working, employers were finding it hard to discuss and manage mental health.

A small minority (16%) of employers reported that COVID had not affected their anxiety levels.

With a clear division on mental health support in the workplace, almost half (49%) of employers agreed that improving mental health support in their organisation will be a focus in 2021. It appears that employers and employees will utilise 2021 to focus on strengthening their mental health measures in the workplace.

Ben Thompson, CEO, and co-founder of Employment Hero, said: “The past year has presented new anxieties and stresses for many employers and employees and as we look to the next steps in 2021 there are many positives for businesses worldwide despite the challenges we are currently facing. It is important employers provide ‘total employment care’ and listen to their employees, offering mental health support where possible. Do not make assumptions about employees’ mental health and ensure that resources are put in place to help support employees when they are in the workplace.

“A full return to the office might not happen for the foreseeable future, however, making remote mental health support available is something all employers should be preparing for. One of the few silver linings of the pandemic was the realisation that workers can still thrive productively while working outside the office parameters, this does not necessarily suggest that they are thriving mentally, and the support provided by organisations is something that can help with this. Invest in the tools that keep both productivity and communication up, and don’t overlook an incredibly talented workforce just because of their personal health choices.”

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