Protecting your employees' mental health and wellbeing has never been more important. Everyone has times in their lives which are unsettling and stressful and test our ability to cope. Our mental health is fluid and can change and fluctuate depending on what is going on around us.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on all parts of everyday life and has had long-lasting effects on the way we live, work and socialise. Mental health conditions are on the rise and some groups in our society are experiencing worse mental health and wellbeing than others.
The financial cost to employers is considerable. In 2020, prior to the pandemic, Deloitte estimated the financial costs to UK employers of poor mental health and wellbeing in the workplace at between £43-£45 billion each year.
If you were able to average out the cost to each Welsh employee, not just those who are unwell, Deloitte estimates this cost to be £1,557 per employee. If you consider a small organisation in Wales employing 50 people, this could amount to costs of nearly £78,000 a year because of poor mental health among employees.
Evidence shows that workplace interventions to support mental health and wellbeing have the potential for significant benefits to employers, employees and the wider economy. In addition to the benefits employees will experience, investing in mental health and wellbeing in the workplace provides a range of rewards to the organisation which can be calculated as an average return on investment. So, for every £1 spent on supporting employees' mental health, employers will receive an average of £5 back in reduced absenteeism and staff turnover
We know that mental health issues are one of the top reasons for sickness absence, and that more and more employers are concerned about employee mental health and wellbeing and would like to do more.
The good news is there are many things that employers can do to look after the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. The following pages provide employers with further information, resources and guidance to help maintain positive workplace mental health and signpost to services that can offer support to employees if needed.
In addition, the Healthy Working Wales workplace awards can help employers work through a range of actions that are proven to support mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, and support employees who are experiencing mental health issues to stay in work.
The following actions are based on research about what works best in the workplace: