More than a third (36%) of British employers have improved their mental health support for staff since the start of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, according to new research by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).
Acas commissioned YouGov to ask businesses in Britain about whether they had seen a change to employee mental health and wellbeing support in their organisation since the start of the pandemic. The poll also found that nearly one in ten (9%) said it had got worse, 50% reported it as staying the same and 6% answered that they did not know.
Acas chief executive, Susan Clews, explained that the pandemic has been a “challenging” period for everyone and that it is “great” to see that over a third of bosses have managed to improve their organisation’s mental health support for their staff.
“However, nearly one in ten employers have seen this support deteriorate so it is important for businesses to invest in the wellbeing of their workers as they open up again. Acas has good advice and training on how to support and manage mental health and wellbeing at work,” she said.
Advice from Acas to help employers manage mental health during Covid-19 includes being approachable and available and encouraging team members to talk if they are having problems. The organisation also recommends keeping in regular contact with the team to see how they are coping and being understanding towards the concerns and needs of staff while they work in new or unexpected ways, such as working from home or managing childcare.
In addition, Acas recommends employers address any individual communication preferences such as asking team members if they prefer to talk over the phone, through video meetings or by email, and to encourage them to look after their own mental health and to get support if they feel under more pressure than usual.