Almost a third of employees have experienced mental health issues at work, but most rate their organisations’ support as sub-standard
Almost one third of employees in UK workplaces have experienced unmanageable stress or mental health issues while in employment, but only 41 per cent feel confident disclosing this to their employer, according to new Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) research.
The Employee Outlook: Focus on mental health in the workplace report found that the rate of reported mental ill-health had risen 5 per cent to 31 per cent over the past year.
Fewer than half of the 2,000-plus employees surveyed (46 per cent) said their organisation supported employees with mental health issues ‘very well’ or even ‘fairly well’.
CIPD employment relations adviser Rachel Suff said it was incumbent on HR professionals to put measures in place to ward off serious staff mental health issues: “Employers have a duty of care to look after people’s health and safety. You are also helping the business because if people are overstressed, anxious or depressed they will not be as engaged.
“A lot of people go into work with mental health problems and their performance is affected. They find it difficult to concentrate, they take longer completing tasks and they find it hard to make decisions. Sometimes people will need to take time off work.”
The CIPD suggested employers should be clear at the beginning of the working relationship that no problem was too big, small or personal for an employee to raise.
It called for organisations to create cultures of openness and to encourage staff to discuss their challenges. Conversations should go beyond someone’s immediate and short-term workload to take in their role, responsibilities and opportunities more generally.
Read more on the CIPD website