Government urged to prioritise mental health at work

Pressure is growing on the Government to deliver on a manifesto promise which outlined plans to give mental health the same status as physical health in the workplace.

Large employers such as Royal Mail and WH Smith are among the companies asking the Prime Minister to follow through on her manifesto pledge to update health and safety legislation, so employers would have to treat mental health the same way they treat physical health.

The revised legislation would mean employers would have to provide appropriate training for staff to deal with mental ill-health, which in turn should help to break the stigma of mental health in the workplace.

“Mental health at work is a big issue for employers, and we need to drive a change in attitudes if we want to see real changes in the way its tackled in the workplace,” commented Sam Holt of Norfolk accountancy recruitment specialists, Big Sky Additions. “At present there is no legal requirement for employers to have a mental health policy – though we recommend to our clients that it makes good business sense to implement robust mental health and wellbeing policies to support their staff,” continued Sam, who recruits for part time and full time accountancy jobs in Norfolk.

About one in six of people at work have symptoms of a mental health condition, and a Government review estimated the cost to the economy is between £74bn and £99bn a year for conditions such as depression, anxiety or stress. The leading mental health charity, Mind, surveyed 44,000 staff and revealed that poor mental health affects half of all employees.

Flexible working has also been shown to have a significant positive impact on mental health, enabling employees to control their work life balance better. “The percentage of employees that favour flexible working is on the rise, and forward-thinking employers are adopting the latest technology to give employees the freedom to balance their personal and professional lives, which in turn benefits their long term mental health,” adds Sam.

For further information about accountancy jobs in Norfolk contact Sam on 01603 516254