Employers join together to prioritise mental health at work

Thirty-three employers have signed an open letter calling for employers to prioritise mental health in the workplace.

Woman leans on a table looking depressed


Thirty-three leading organisations have committed to prioritising the mental health of their employees as they return to work in an open letter published today.

The letter is published in The Times by employers including Unilever, Barclays, Lloyds, Morgan Stanley, Santander, National Grid and Eon as well as the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development [CIPD].

Anxiety about returning to work

It cites recent research by the charity Mind, which found that 35% of employees describe their mental health as either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ and that the prospect of returning to work was causing them to feel anxious. Other research, including by the ONS, suggests adults’ mental health has significantly worsened since the pandemic began.

The CIPD’s research found that 43% of employees said their general mental health has worsened since the coronavirus outbreak, rising to 52% for those with an existing mental health issue. Some 88% of employers were concerned about the impact of the pandemic on employee mental health. ‘Fear and anxiety about themselves or a loved one becoming ill’ was by far the most common concern reported by employees.

The open letter says ‘there has never been a more important time to build back better when it comes to supporting employee mental health and wellbeing. As a group of leading employers and industry bodies in Britain, we are committed to doing this’.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has also just released new practical guides for employers and employees on dealing with drug and alcohol misuse after a recent survey showed over a quarter of people say their alcohol consumption has increased since the coronavirus outbreak.

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