Tomorrow is World Suicide Prevention Day. advo hr looks at the importance of focusing on the employee health and well-being and the need to be proactive with interventions.
World Suicide Prevention Day falls on 10th September and aims to promote action worldwide to proactively prevent suicides.
The Office of National Statistics released their most recent report on ‘Suicides in the UK: 2017 registrations’ in September 2018. In this report, it explains that in 2017 there were a total of 5,821 suicides registered here in the UK. This equates to 10.1 deaths per 100,000 people. The suicide rate for males remains much higher than females, with male suicides accounting for three-quarters of suicides (4,382 deaths) in 2017. This divide has been observed since the mid-1990s.
An employer has a duty of care to their employees. This extends not only to their health and safety whilst at work, but also their well-being. Whilst this is a legal obligation, there is an ethical and moral duty too to prevent any injury whether that be physical or psychological. Employers need to have done all they reasonably can to keep employees safe; this may include ensuring that employees are not working excessive hours, ensuring rest breaks are adhered to in line with the Working Time Regulations and providing areas where employees can rest away from their usual place of work e.g. a break room. HR policies can help to reduce mental stressors on employees by ensuring protections against bullying, harassment and discrimination.
If you are considering creating a well-being HR policy and would like some support with this please do get in contact with us.
Many employers have support within their staff benefit packages. Many employers have Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) which enable employees to confidentially contact a third party to discuss life stresses and problems including financial issues, addictions, family or relationship issues as well as mental health amongst other things. These providers usually have phone lines that are manned all hours of the day, enabling those who wish to use the service to get in contact when it is convenient for them. If you are an employer that does not have an EAP these benefits are inexpensive and offer an outlet for employees who need support.
Some cash plans also offer wellness apps where employees can login, or counselling services. In addition cash plans provide cover for everyday healthcare and preventative treatments such as dental check-ups, eye tests, glasses and prescriptions up to set annual limits. Employees can receive their treatment and claim these amounts back and receive the money straight into their bank accounts.
Adults spend the majority of their lives at work and therefore employers should be proactive to help minimise work related stresses, where possible. Employers should also publicise any benefits that may help to manage stress.
Jessica Hall advo hr Business Partner
As advo are also an employee benefits intermediary, if you are interested in learning more about employee benefits such as EAP or cash plans, then please do get in touch. We can arrange for one of our dedicated employee benefit account managers to call you to discuss this.