Over a third of businesses report that employee mental health support has got better since the start

New research by Acas has found that over a third (36%) of British employers have seen their mental health support improve since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Acas commissioned YouGov to ask businesses in Britain about whether they had seen a change to employee mental health and wellbeing support in their organisation since the start of the pandemic. The poll found that:

  • Over a third (36%) said it had got better;

  • Nearly one in ten (9%) said it had got worse;

  • Half (50%) reported it as staying the same; and

  • 6% of employers did not know.

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 ten 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.

For the full Acas advice, please see: www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus-mental-health

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