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WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY: EMPLOYERS NEED TO TACKLE MENTAL HEALTH WORRIES IN THE WORKPLACE

For World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10 October, employers are being urged to ensure mental health is also an issue that is discussed in the workplace. Research by WorkLife, the employee benefits service from online money manager OpenMoney, found that three out of ten (29%) small businesses worry about the impact coronavirus is having on the mental wellbeing of their employees.

For World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10 October, employers are being urged to ensure mental health is also an issue that is discussed in the workplace. Research by WorkLife, the employee benefits service from online money manager OpenMoney, found that three out of ten (29%) small businesses worry about the impact coronavirus is having on the mental wellbeing of their employees.

A similar number (32%) of firms said employees had admitted they were worried about their own mental wellbeing. As the pandemic looks to be entering a second wave, triggering a series of local lockdowns that could damage businesses just getting back on their feet, job security could once again cause workers stress to add to the other health and money worries they’re struggling with. Rob Marshall, managing director of WorkLife, comments: “World Mental Health Day is an important moment for everyone to pause, think about their own mental wellbeing and those of their friends and loved ones. “But it’s more than a one day a year issue, and because many of us spend so much of our waking hours working, employers are in a unique position to help their employees with any worries they have about their mental health. Whether it’s just a chat over a cup of tea, or a fully-fledged www.worklifebenefits.uk programme to help with stress, it would be great if small firms could mark Mental Health Day in the workplace as well.”

 Concern around mental health came out as major issue in the Small Business Monitor, a report commissioned by WorkLife. Firms said their staff were worried about a number of issues:

· 42% of firms said employees fear losing their jobs

· 39% said workers worry about the health of their loved ones

· 38% of employers said employees worry about their personal finances

· 32% said workers were concerned about the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace

However, WorkLife’s research also found that mental health is already being tackled by many SMEs. Three out of ten (30%) small firms said they currently offer their employees support, such as help managing their stress, while one in four (25%) want to introduce such help in the next six months. Mental health and wellbeing support is an integral part of the WorkLife employee benefits platform, enabling small businesses to give their workers free access to Thrive, the only mental wellbeing app approved by the NHS.

To help with health and fitness, WorkLife also offers My Active Discounts, as well as free financial advice from OpenMoney. The WorkLife platform is simple for employers to set up online, linking up with payroll information and workplace pensions, so employees can see all their benefits and salary in one place. Employers can also add their own benefits and rewards. Normally costing companies £2 per employee per month, WorkLife is currently available free of charge for the rest of the year to help smaller businesses struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. WorkLife’s Small Business Monitor is based on research carried out by 3Gem among 750 senior financial and HR decision makers in UK SME companies with 5 - 250 employees.

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