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New report calls on employers to adopt six standards to improve workplace mental health

An independent review has today called on all UK employers to adopt six ‘mental health core standards’ to lay the basic foundations for an approach to workplace mental health.

The review was commissioned by the Prime Minister in January and led by Dennis Stevenson, MQ’s founding chairman, and Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind.

Their report, Thriving at Work, which has been published today, reveals that 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem lose their jobs each year. And that poor mental health costs employers up to £42 billion a year, with an annual cost to the UK economy of up to £99 billion.

Drawing from evidence and best-practice from over 200 employers, the review sets out the core principles and standards for employers to commit to in order to improve workplace mental health. These cover mental health at work plans, mental health awareness for employees, line management responsibilities and routine monitoring of staff mental health and wellbeing.

Other recommendations include the creation of an online health and wellbeing portal to help employers access the tools and guidance they need and the use of digital technology as a means to support those working remotely or in the gig economy. 

Review Co-Chair, Dennis Stevenson said: 

“In light of the demonstrable impact of poor workplace wellbeing on individuals, employers and the UK economy, we are calling on the Government to accept the recommendations in full, and to introduce the core standards in the public sector. We need the right leadership among employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors, and a mandate from policy-makers to deliver our ambitious but achievable plan. It’s time for every employer to recognise their responsibilities and affect change, so that the UK becomes a world leader in workplace wellbeing for all staff and in supporting people with mental health problems to thrive at work.”

Commenting on the report, MQ’s CEO, Cynthia Joyce said:

“We wholeheartedly congratulate Dennis Stevenson and Paul Farmer for their work on this important and timely project. They have long been champions in highlighting the need for improvements in workplace mental health – and more research to support effective practices.  We are confident that employers and employees alike will benefit from this new initiative, which charts a practical and evidence-based path forward for transforming workplace wellbeing.”

Last updated: 26 October 2017

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