The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has published guidance (available here) on workplace health and wellbeing. The CBI’s aim is for employers to better prioritise the health and wellbeing of their staff after finding that the scale of the UK’s mental health challenge is growing. The CBI considers that employers still need to do more to help remove the stigma around mental health.
Recommendations include creating a culture where both physical and mental health have equal focus in the workplace and taking targeted action through early interventions. The CBI said there are firms who do not yet know how to realise the ‘full potential of taking action‘ and must adopt the ‘good practice that is already out there’.
In a survey, the CBI found that:
- 63% of businesses see workplace health and wellbeing as an important business issue;
- 52% of business leaders recognise the need for prevention, not just a cure; and
- 71% of firms say they find it hard to take practical action as they are unclear on what is effective and they cannot see the benefits for others that have invested.
The guidance highlights steps that firms can take to support workplace mental health, which include:
- working with external organisations to raise awareness of mental health;
- considering the needs of individuals inside and outside the workplace when developing their approach to health and wellbeing; and
- giving people the option to work flexibly to help those experiencing poor health return to work.
The CBI also sets out three steps which employers can learn from:
- prioritising health and wellbeing from the top – this will demonstrate its importance as a workplace issue, ensuring it is a shared priority across the business;
- targeting action towards early interventions – this will enable people to perform at their best; and
- embedding good health and wellbeing””this will depend largely on creating a culture that reinforces positive messages and prioritises staff health and wellbeing.
The CBI also advises the Government to:
- avoid any further increases in the insurance premium tax rate – to ensure that health insurance remains accessible to employees; and
- assess how health-related benefits can support health and wellbeing in the workplace and alleviate pressures on the NHS.