WELLBEING POLICY–ADOPTED 30/03/2022
1.1. Mental health problems and stress can affect anyone, regardless of their position in the organisation. This policy applies equally to all employees.
1.2. The implementation of this policy will also be supported by other health and safety policies including the Equal Opportunities, Alcohol and Drugs, Bullying and Harassment and Flexible Working.
2.1. To create and promote a culture where employees are able to talk openly about their job and mental health problems and to report difficulties without fear of discrimination or reprisal.
2.2. To create and promote a workplace environment that supports and promotes the mental wellbeing of all employees. We acknowledge that certain working conditions and practices can negatively affect employees’ mental wellbeing, including aspects of work organisation and management, and environmental and social conditions that have the potential for psychological as well as physical harm.
3.1. To tackle workplace factors that may negatively affect mental wellbeing, and to develop management skills to promote mental wellbeing and manage mental health problems effectively.
3.2. Give employees information on and increase their awareness of mental wellbeing.
3.3. Provide opportunities for employees to look after their mental wellbeing, for example through physical activity, stress-buster activities and social events.
3.4. Offer employees flexible working arrangements that promote their mental wellbeing.
3.5. Ensure all staff have clearly defined job descriptions, objectives and responsibilities and provide them with good management support, appropriate training and adequate resources to do their job.
3.6. Manage conflict effectively and ensure the workplace is free from bullying and harassment, discrimination and racism.
3.7. Establish good two-way communication to ensure staff involvement, particularly during periods of organisational change.
3.8. To develop a culture based on trust, support and mutual respect within the workplace.
4.1. Give non-judgmental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental health problems.
4.2. Deal sympathetically with staff suffering from mental health problems due to circumstances outside the workplace, and who consequently find it difficult to do their jobs properly.
4.3. Give new employees a comprehensive induction program providing an understanding of the organisation, the established policies and procedures, and the role they are expected to carry out.
4.4. To provide support and assistance for employees experiencing mental health difficulties.
4.5. Ensure individuals suffering from mental health problems are treated fairly and consistently and are not made to feel guilty about their problems.
4.6. Encourage staff to consult their own GP, or a counsellor of their choice.
4.7. Investigate the contribution of working conditions and other organisational factors to mental ill health and remedy this where possible.
4.8. In cases of long-term sickness absence, put in place, where possible, a graduated return to work.
4.9. Make every effort to identify suitable alternative employment, in full discussion with the employee, where a return to the same job is not possible due to identified risks or other factors.
4.10. Treat all matters relating to individual employees and their mental health problems in the strictest confidence and share on a ‘need to know’ basis only with consent from the individual concerned.
4.11. To positively encourage the employment of people who have experienced mental health problems by providing fair and non-discriminatory recruitment and selection procedures.
4.12. Show a positive and enabling attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health issues.
4.13. Provide adequate resources to enable managers to implement the organisations agreed workplace mental wellbeing policy.
5.1. As an employer we recognise that people who have or have had mental health problems may have experienced discrimination in recruitment and selection procedures. This may discourage them from seeking employment. While some people will acknowledge their experience of mental health issues openly, others may fear that stigma will jeopardise their chances of getting a job. Given appropriate support, the vast majority of people who have experienced mental health problems continue to work successfully, as do many with ongoing issues.
5.2. We aim to ensure that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health issues, are aware of the Equality Act 2010 and are trained in appropriate interview skills.
5.3. We aim to make it clear, in any recruitment or occupational health check undertaken, that people who have experienced mental health issues will not be discriminated against and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.
5.4. We do not make assumptions that a person with a mental health problem will be more vulnerable to workplace stress or take more time off than any other employee or job applicant.
6.1. Everyone has a responsibility to contribute to making the workplace mental wellbeing policy effective.
6.2. Managers have a responsibility to:
a)Monitor the workplace, identify hazards and risks and take steps to eliminate or reduce these as far as is reasonably practicable.
b) Ensure good communication between management and staff, particularly where there are organisational and procedural changes.
c) Assist and support employees who are known to have mental health problems or are experiencing stress outside work – for example due to bereavement or separation.
d) Ensure staff are provided with the resources and training required to carry out their job.
e) Monitor workloads to ensure that people are not overloaded.
f) Monitor working hours and overtime to ensure that staff are not overworking, and monitor holidays to ensure that staff are taking
their full entitlement.
g) Ensure staff are provided with meaningful developmental opportunities.
h) In addition, senior management will ensure that staff performing a management or supervisory function have sufficient competence to discharge that function in a manner consistent with the maintenance of mental health in the workplace.
6.3. Employees have the responsibility to raise issues of concern and seek help from their line manager.
7.1. The Council will monitor how effectively the policy meets its aims and objectives.
7.2. Indicators to measure effectiveness could include:
a) working hours and patterns
b) accidents at work
c) staff complaints
d) staff sickness levels
e) staff turnover
f) use of occupational health or counselling services
g) early retirement through ill health
h) exit interviews
7.3. The policy will be reviewed six months from implementation and then annually after that to ensure that it remains relevant.