As a result Unite is calling on employers to take a proactive approach to dealing with employees’ mental health challenges immediately as workers return to the workforce and begin to adjust to revised working conditions. Unite surveyed 22,000 workplace activists and just under two thirds (65%) of respondents recorded that they had to deal with an increase in members’ mental health concerns.
It is essential that employers understand what is causing the workers’ mental health issues and then provide specific assistance on issues such as debt and financial concerns or for more specific mental health matters assisting them to contact a specialist organisation such as Mind.
This was followed by concerns over pregnancy, maternity, paternity, adoption and other family leave (40%), employers or managers exploiting the isolation of individual members (33%), bullying (26%) and issues related to disability (24%). Unite understands mental health issues have been caused by a variety of different issues, including loneliness and isolation during the lockdown (especially if a worker is having to shield), excessive work pressures, financial concerns and fears about returning to work.
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