1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives and the UK Government is taking this statistic seriously, recommending all companies with more than 500 employees should provide tailored mental health support for their staff.
But what about smaller businesses? With millions of small businesses in the UK, making sure these businesses are equipped to support the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff is essential for keeping the majority of the working population healthy. (more…)
According to Unum UK’s “Mental health as a workplace asset” report in partnership with The Mental Health Foundation and Oxford Economics, 15 percent of UK employees – 4.9 million people – are affected by common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Such issues are fast becoming a top priority for businesses both large and small, especially as it’s clear mental health challenges have no boundaries when it comes to the world of work. (more…)
It is virtually impossible to eradicate staff sickness absence entirely. However, for small businesses, the costly nature of absenteeism can be extremely disruptive to the day to day running of the business.
There are many costs associated with staff being off sick, including compensation to the absent employee, the additional expense of finding temporary workers and the possible decline of productivity due to other employees being tasked with additional workloads.
Despite its unpredictability, there are steps small business owners can take to minimise the negative effects of absenteeism. This guide provides you with advice on how to effectively manage the different aspects of sickness absence. (more…)
The UK has one of the most robust and exacting health and safety regulatory frameworks to be found anywhere in the world.
Compliance with the various H&S laws is crucial for employers and this is true of the regulations for the appropriate and correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for outdoor workers. (more…)
It’s safe to say that writing a health & safety plan isn’t one of the most exciting parts of starting a business. In fact, it’s something that many new business owners neglect to do.
A health and safety plan is a plan which outlines how health and safety protocol will work in your business. In an ideal world, it would be seen as something that goes alongside a business plan but, far too often, this is not the case and businesses end up neglecting it.
Planning for health and safety means more than just checking the law as you go to make sure you are following it. Rather, a health and safety plan is something that should be done in the early stages of business planning.
When it comes to first aid in the workplace, the same principles apply to small businesses with only a few employees, as they do to companies with a bigger workforce spread across multiple locations.
In both instances, there must be plans in place to ensure the day-to-day working operation complies with health and safety regulations, protecting employees from possible injuries and reacting to sudden illness.
Small businesses and start-ups are particularly vulnerable to staff health issues. If you’re a small business of five staff when suddenly one of the team is off sick with a chronic back complaint, then the business is trying to operate with only 80% of the workforce.
The increased workload this pushes on to other staff can soon create problems. The extra pressure can cause mistakes to be made, customers to be lost and staff to become stressed and a booming business can rapidly spiral into decline.
While it may not be top priority, there are several common sense health and wellbeing steps that will not only protect your small business but also pay significant dividends over time. If your staff are healthier, they’re going to have fewer days of sick leave and you could also see a boost in productivity.
With the value of workplace health being increasingly recognised, we asked Rosie Bambury of the Better Health at Work Alliance, to explain how small businesses can benefit from a bigger focus on employee health.
A recent survey about mental resilience of almost 2,000 workers found that nearly a third of UK employees feel unsure about who to talk to or where to find help or support regarding mental health.
And, nearly 40% of people find it hard to talk to or open up about their mental health to anyone.
So how can businesses help to break down these barriers and help to address how we view and approach mental health in the workplace? We asked Fiona Lowe of Westfield Health to outline some ideas; (more…)
Mental health problems are often misunderstood, but as an employer it’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees are treated fairly.
Some people may recover from a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression, or it may only have a minor effect, but if an employee’s mental health issues are severe enough to count as a disability, you will also have to consider your legal responsibilities towards them.
This guide outlines your duties and responsibilities to any staff with mental health problems, and helps to ensure that you don’t inadvertently discriminate against them.
As a business owner, the welfare of your staff will naturally be a key concern. Health and safety is just one of many concerns for small businesses, both in terms protecting employees and complying with the law.
The government’s Health and Safety Regulations state that employers must provide “adequate and appropriate” equipment that ensures injured employees can be treated immediately if they have an accident or feel ill. The regulations apply to businesses of every size, even if you have fewer than five employees, so this means you need to have First Aid Kits available to treat staff injuries and illnesses.
When a member of your staff takes a holiday, do you feel like you’re the one having a break? While they’re away, does your time at work feel less stressed? Do things run more smoothly? Is being at work just more enjoyable? And does the workplace in general seem lighter? Do the people around you seem more contented, even though they’re taking on the workload of their vacationing associate?
That can’t be right.
Well it’s not. And you need to do something about it. Otherwise, you’re effectively paying someone to sabotage your business. But how do you fix it? (more…)
Working is a balancing act. Whether its deadlines or internal demands, we all have plates to spin. This is particularly so in small businesses where there are fewer resources to draw on when the pressure is on.
Being busy at work is the norm for most of us, and often leads to an imbalance between work and life. Letting this equilibrium tip more towards work is not good for our wellbeing and can have negative effects on health and performance at work.
With recent news reporting that 40% of employees are suffering from “brownout”, a milder form of burnout, and are consequently disengaged and demotivated at work, businesses need to think how they can get the best out of employees, including allowing them to re-energise themselves. (more…)