Third of employers think mental health support has helped workers

An Acas report shows around a third of employers feel their employees’ mental health has improved as a result of the support they have provided during the pandemic.


Over a third (36%) of British employers have seen their employees’ mental health support improve since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with the majority [25%] saying they thought it had improved a little bit, according to an employer survey by Acas.

However, the YouGov poll of a representative sample of businesses found that nine per cent said it had got worse and half said it had remained the same.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said: “The pandemic has been a challenging period for everyone and it’s great to see that over a third of bosses have managed to improve their organisation’s mental health support for their staff.

“However, nearly one in 10 employers have seen this support deteriorate so it is important for businesses to invest in the wellbeing of their workers as they open up again.

“Acas has good advice and training on how to support and manage mental health and wellbeing at work.”

Acas advice for employers on managing mental health during Covid-19 includes:

  • Be approachable, available and encourage team members to talk to you if they’re having problems;
  • Keep in regular contact with your team to check how they are coping;
  • Be understanding towards the concerns and needs of your staff while they work in new or unexpected ways. For example, working from home or managing childcare while working;
  • Address any individual communication preferences such as asking team members if they prefer to talk over the phone, through video meetings or by email; and
  • Look after your own mental health and get support if you feel under more pressure than usual. This support could be a colleague at work, a mental health network or a counsellor.

Employees may not have had such a positive experience, however. A survey of over 1,300 parents found only 19% said their employer had helped them with their mental health during the pandemic, compared to 50% who said they didn’t help.

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