It's easy to understand how an employee will perform better if they feel good. And ultimately, wellbeing is about feeling good. So there is a clear correlation between business performance and wellbeing. Poor wellbeing can increase absence and result in lower productivity. There is also the potential liability if you do not look after employee's wellbeing as ultimately this will fall under health and safety and every employer has a legal responsibility to look after their employee's health and safety - and this includes wellbeing and an employee's mental health as well as their physical health.
Given the positive outcomes (and potential negative consequence) every business should look at having a wellbeing policy and strategies to monitor and support employee wellbeing.
Strategies do not have to be costly. Many of the most effective strategies focus on culture and communication.
Frequently asked questions
Yes - Under Health and Safety, employers are responsible for the health and safety of all employees in their place of work, which includes working from home. As this a relatively new at present it remains to be seen what type of cases maybe reported, however, if in doubt extend your normal H&S processes to the home work environment also, including risk assessments, ergonomics, right to disconnect. This list is not exhaustive as the actual needs will be as per the individual and type of work/ industry worked in. There is an expectation that employees will take reasonable care of themselves whilst working from home but this does not detract from the employers responsibility.
Further information can be found on the HSA website homeworking_guidance_9mar21_v8.pdf (hsa.ie)
No. There is no requirement to have a trained mental health first aider at this current time. If you do want to have a mental health first aider they will need to go on an appropriate training course. It is good practice to offer mental health support to colleagues by means of occupational health provider or by sign posting to free mental health supports such as Mental health - HSE.ie
Wellbeing will generally fall under health and safety as every employer has a responsibility to look after their employees health and safety and this includes their mental health. There are lots of practical things that can be done. From providing information and signposting, to daily check-ins with employees and providing guidance to employee about how to organise and manage their day.
More pro-active support may include survey's and wellbeing coaching from wellbeing experts who are external to the organisation. You can read about all of these in the wellbeing and engagement area. Engage with each line manager to ensure that they are maintaining regular contact and that they also are looking after their mental health!
You shouldn't generally instruct an employee to return home as this could be considered medical suspension for which the employee may request full pay. A better approach would be to ask the employee a question such as 'you seem unwell, do you think you should be working?' so that they are encouraged to make the decision whether to return home themselves, and then receive pay in accordance with your sick pay policy.
5. Remote and Hybrid Teams
Stress is a person’s reaction to excessive pressures or demands placed upon them. It is psychological in origin, but can produce both physical and behavioural effects. The key piece of legislation that place duties on employers in relation to stress, is the Health and Safety at Work Act 2005.Read More