Mental Health Awareness Week is upon us, which is the ideal time for UK employers to review their approach to how to boost workplace wellbeing all year round.
Creating an open and safe environment at work is beneficial for both the employer and the employees. Having two-way communication means that everyone is supported so things do not get worse. Wellbeing problems can cost UK businesses over £42billion annually while the majority of UK workers feel that their employer could do more.
Supportive mental health laws for employees
There are a handful of UK laws in place that back workers both physically and mentally. The Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 break the stigma surrounding mental health, plus entitle those persons to reasonable adjustments that could improve their work life. Some examples include:
- Adjusting the working hours to accommodate medication and energy
- Working from home when symptoms are more prevalent
- Being exempt from large social gatherings in a work capacity
While the laws only cover workers who have a ‘substantial, adverse and long term impact on their ability to carry out everyday tasks’, advocating mental health for all employees is advised to create a safe working space with no discrimination.
How can you support your employee’s mental health?
No matter if you are a company of a few employees or many, there are Mental Health First Aid courses available. You can volunteer a few of the team or have the organisation come to your workplace too, so everyone is capable of identifying mental wellness issues and supporting colleagues through them. Knowing there is mutual support or having someone to go to can act as someone’s first step.
Proven mood boosters are eating well and staying hydrated, sleeping more and exercising in their daily lives. Adding staff perks like gym memberships or weekly yoga classes can work wonders too. A better working environment with regular screen breaks can also boost motivation and team morale.