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Do UK employers care more about the mental health of their employees?

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According to a recent survey by Deloitte, UK employers are more likely to offer staff mental health support at work than the global average. The survey found 36% of employers in the UK offered mental health counselling to their staff, compared to just 21% of organisations globally.

Deloitte surveyed over 200 UK employers as part of their 2018 Global Human Capital Trends. According to the results 88% of employers in the UK are working towards improving employee wellbeing, by offering wellness and work life balance programmes in the workplace. This compares to a global average of 82%.

This report follows on from an independent review published by Stevenson-Farmer, which found poor mental health costs the UK economy between £74 billion and £99 billion a year.  With a reported return of up to £9.00 for every £1.00 invested in workplace intervention programmes the return on investment where such programmes are introduced is clear to see.

The good news is that the importance of addressing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is being recognised in the UK with 60% of CEO’s reporting that mental health support is considered a priority.  Despite this poor mental health is on the rise with the number of fit notes issued by GP’s for mental illness increasing by 13.5% in 2017.  Additionally, while many are committed to prioritising mental health, the Reward & Employee Benefits Association found that only 16% of CEO’s had a strategy in place to improve it.  In addition, the quality of the mental health programmes offered in the workplace are often quite basic with only 5% of UK employers offering what Deloitte referred to as “extensive” wellbeing programmes, which are actively tracked to measure the impact on workplace productivity and efficiency.

Employers play a key role in supporting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, particularly in today’s fast-moving work environment.  Whilst the UK is ahead of the global averages, it is clear that more investment in mental health strategies and support in the workplace is required. 

For advice and guidance on how to support employee mental health and wellbeing please contact a member of the team.