Supporting employees mental health

The risks to employee’s health from this pandemic are psychological as well as physical. This includes anxiety about the ongoing health crisis and fear of infection, as well social isolation due to the lockdown. Many employees will have experienced challenging domestic situations, such as juggling childcare or caring for a vulnerable relative, as well as financial worries if their partner has had a reduction or a loss of income. Some will have experienced illness themselves, the illness of others, or bereavement.

Managers must ensure that they take time to check on their employee’s wellbeing at regular intervals and discuss any concerns the employee may have with a view to resolving them together.   

Even if employees have been attending work or have been working from home throughout this pandemic, they will still need to adjust to a different way of working in the long term and will need to feel supported and encouraged to talk about how they are feeling. 

Some employees may have an existing mental health condition that has deteriorated as a result of the pandemic and others may have developed a mental health condition that is making them anxious about returning to work. Managers must ensure that employees are offered all available support such as Employee Counselling, Occupational Health referral, signposting to other services. 

To support those employees that are anxious about returning to work managers should consider whether there are any changes to someone’s role or working arrangements that would help to ease them back to work. Some people will need a period of readjustment so a phased return, use of annual leave or other leave should be considered.  

Time for Talking – 0800 970 3980 or Information on what other support is available to employees can be found here.

Updated on 3rd June 2020

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