Responding to the publication of the Stevenson-Farmer independent review into mental health in the workplace, Stephen Martin, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
“This report adds some much-needed government backing to the calls for more open conversations about mental health at work. The review rightly highlights the human cost of mental ill-health in the workplace, not to mention the wider impact on businesses and the economy. It shows that mental health is not just a moral issue, but a business one too.
“Official statistics suggest that 127 million hours of work were lost in 2015 due to mental health related absence – the equivalent of around 75,000 individuals losing the entire working year. Even when poor mental health isn’t forcing individuals to take time off work, it’s affecting their performance in work. More than 6 in 10 UK employees report that they’ve been kept awake at night due to stress, leaving them unable to perform their duties as well as they might. Much has been written on the subject of boosting productivity, so helping staff be in a better frame of mind would be a huge help in that regard.
“Clearly more needs to be done to ensure that mental health policies and procedures are embedded across the workplace. However, driving change will not simply be achieved through amplifying the Government’s voice on this topic. With the amount of time people spend in work, business leaders must put themselves at the frontier of addressing these challenges.
“Part of the problem is that not all employers know what they can do. The IoD has been running a campaign for the last year, helping to equip our members with the right tools and information to tackle mental health concerns amongst their employees. We’ve seen some great progress with employers increasingly taking their duty of care to their staff more proactively and seriously than ever.”
You can view the IoD’s Mental Health in the Workplace online portal here