‘Thriving at work’

29 October 2017

In January 2017 the Prime Minister asked for an independent review into how employers can better support the mental health of all people currently in employment including those with mental health problems or poor well-being to remain in and thrive through work.

Theresa May said at the time: “Many employers are already creating healthy, inclusive workplaces, but more needs to be done so that employers provide the support needed for employees with mental health conditions.”

Thriving At Work - The Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers has now been published and reveals that the UK is facing a mental health challenge at work that is much larger than previously thought. Not only is there a big human cost of poor mental health at work, there are also knock on impacts for society, the economy and government.

Employers are losing billions of pounds because employers are less productive, less effective, or off sick. However on a positive, the research has found green shoots of good practice. Using good practice and evidence where it exists, the review sets out a number of mental health core standards that can be adopted across all workplaces at little or no cost.

The review includes the recommendation that all employers, regardless of workplace type, industry or size adopt the mental health core standards (as set out in the review). The review team believe all employers can and should:

  • Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  • Develop mental health awareness among employees
  • Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling
  • Provide your employees with good working conditions
  • Promote effective people management
  • Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing

The review also recommends that all public sector employers and the 3,500 private sector companies with more than 500 employees deliver the following mental health enhanced standards which will reach 46% of employees:

  • Increase transparency and accountability through internal and external reporting.
  • Demonstrate accountability
  • Improve the disclosure process
  • Ensure provision of tailored in-house mental health support and signposting to clinical help

The review states that it is clearly in the interests of all businesses and organisations to implement these mental health core and enhanced standards, and is calling on trade unions, industry groups, professional and regulatory bodies to help with the implementation of these standards.

Read the full report ‘Thriving At Work’ (84 pages).