The estimated cost of mental ill-health to UK employers each year is between £33 billion and £42 billion, totalling around 91 million lost working days. Two-thirds of UK CEOs considered the mental health of their employees as a priority, but only 16% had a defined strategy in place to help them. VinciWorks has released a short knowledge check to compliment its award-nominated course, Mental Health: Wellbeing at Work, to help organisations test their staff’s knowledge of mental health issues and their applications at work, including giving users an understanding of some of the causes of stress at work, what can happen when problems are not dealt with, and how employers can help.
The knowledge check includes a review of terms and concepts as well as scenario questions to help employees understand which course of action to take in different situations. We recommend the knowledge check be used alongside the full-length Mental Health: Wellbeing at Work course. Widespread staff training can help shift the culture to one that’s open to talking and helping, thus helping shatter taboos that are too often prevalent when it comes to mental health.
The DSE Regulations require that employers provide their staff with a suitable workstation, as well as taking steps to protect them from the risks of working with display screen equipment. Using DSE (i.e. PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones) for extended periods or using them incorrectly can result in fatigue, eye strain, upper limb problems, back and neck problems, repetitive strain injury, stress, headaches and more.
Under the latest government guidance, employers are being given more discretion as to whether their staff should be returning. At least a third of UK workers have returned to work in recent weeks as the government eases restrictions. If your organisation has employees working from the office, you have a duty of care to your staff. Managers must ensure a safe working environment where employees’ health is protected.
This means they have to ensure they have a safe place to work, safe work equipment, their health is protected while working, and assess risks to their health and safety and take action to mitigate those risks. This includes protecting staff from COVID-19.
The level of risk changes according to the type of work being undertaken and where it occurs. Working at home still presents the least risk, but managers may also want to provide the option for those who may want to return to the workplace to do so safely.
VinciWorks’ mental health and wellbeing course has been selected for this year’s EG Tech Awards for the category of Wellbeing Technology of the Year. Bringing together tech businesses and established players in real estate, these awards reward innovation and delivery among both groups. This is the second award our mental health course has been shortlisted for, after we were shortlisted for the InsideOut award for Best Use of Technology in January. The winner of that award will now be announced in September.
The UK government has begun to encourage businesses in certain industries to return to work where possible. While many professional services firms and other primarily office-based businesses are still working from home, it is important to understand the steps that need to be taken as and when it is safe to return to the office.
In our short on-demand webinar, our Director of Learning and Content Nick Henderson gives guidance on how staff can keep themselves and their colleagues safe in the office.
How do you make online health and safety training an experience that actually makes a difference in real time? How can you easily gather data on your staff’s workstation as well as physical and mental health, especially if they are working from home?
As part of our health and safety course, which has been adapted for home workers, users undertake a number of assessments related to their workstation setup. These immersive assessments can be integrated with our reporting tool, Omnitrack. Administrators can then collect rich, actionable data from their users while they complete these assessments. With so many employees currently working remotely, our tool will help businesses ensure all their staff have a comfortable and healthy space to work from home.
VinciWorks’ new course, Health and Safety: Working at Home, is specifically designed for people who need to know about health and safety while working from home. The course delivers short, interactive health and safety training units which are designed to make sure staff are conscious of safety concerns while they are working from home.
Based on VinciWorks’ health and safety training, the course focuses on aspects of health and safety that are pertinent to a home office, particularly ergonomics and proper use of display screen equipment (DSE).
There has been increasing public awareness, political concern, and corporate action on mental health in the UK in recent years. This comes amid more referrals to mental health services, an explosion in prescriptions for anti-depressants, an increase in work days lost to mental health problems, and a stark rise in suicide, particularly among young men. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, stress and anxiety will only be exacerbated.
In this webinar, we explored employers’ moral and legal responsibility towards their staff’s wellbeing. We were also joined by DAC Beachcroft’s Head of Employee Relations Ben Morris and Pinsent Masons LLP’s Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Kate Dodd to explore initiatives that businesses have introduced to good effect and what lessons have been learnt.
Work-related stress and mental health problems often go together, and the symptoms can be very similar.
Work-related stress can aggravate an existing mental health problem, making it more difficult to control. If work-related stress reaches a point where it has triggered an existing mental health problem, it becomes hard to separate one from the other.
Under health and safety at work legislation, employers have a duty of care to their staff. This duty of care encompasses having staff take a stress and mental health risk assessment and then acting on it. This means they should take all steps which are reasonably possible to ensure their health, safety, and wellbeing. Legally, employers must abide by the relevant health and safety and employment law, as well as their common law duty of care.