Mental health in the workplace

A new standard has launched aiming to provide better support around psychological health and safety in the workplace, but what does it mean for the sector?

JUNE saw the launch of ISO45003, a new international standard in the management of psychological health at work. Whilst this is currently a voluntary standard, the detailed advice on managing psychosocial risk as part of an occupational health and safety management system can help ensure effective policies and procedures are in place to protect the mental wellbeing of your workforce.

ISO45003 can be seen as an aspirational standard in psychological health management and its attainment requires a high level of resource and attention.

“The Workforce State of Mind 2021 Survey we conducted suggests, for most employers in the fitness and active leisure sector, working towards the attainment of the Six Mental Health Core Standards outlined in the UK government backed Thriving at Work Review is a more realistic and affordable place to start,” says Katie Lewis, co-founder of Workplace Mental Wealth.

To help employers move towards excellence in employee mental wellbeing and psychological safety, Workplace Mental Wealth has launched The Good Work Pledge. Signing up to The Pledge, which has the full backing of CIMSPA, publicly declares a commitment to creating an environment at work that enhances, protects and supports mental health, and also unlocks access to practical tools and guidance to help employers work towards the Six Mental Health Core Standards.

“Our sector-wide Workforce State Of Mind 2021 Survey, conducted earlier this year raised concerns that much work needs to be done to bring mental wellbeing at work in line with physical wellbeing at work,” says Lewis.

 According to the survey, which attracted responses from 1,140 individuals and 81 employers, more than half (53 per cent) of respondents have experienced a mental health issue in the last 12 months, suggesting investment in this area is an immediate requirement.

The cost to business of mental health issues, in terms of absenteeism, presenteeism and staff turnover as well as the risks of legal action against employers who fall short of their duty of care, is significant. The Thriving at Work Review estimates an average cost per employee of between £497 and £932 for those working in leisure, hotels and catering – not only for those experiencing illness but for those around them that are impacted too. The positive news is that every £1 employers spend on mental health delivers a return of £5 n reduced absence, presenteeism and team turnover (Deloitte 2020).

To find out more about The Good Work Pledge, visit:

workplacementalwealth.com/pledge  

To find out more about ISO45003, visit :

bisgroup/en-GB/iso-45003

Boxout – The Six Core Mental Health Standards:

  1. Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
  2. Developmental health awareness amongst employees
  3. Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling
  4. Provide employees with good working conditions and ensure they have a good work-life balance, plus opportunities for development
  5. Promote effective people management through line managers and supervisors
  6. Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing
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