Archive for February, 2019

New ROI tool removing barriers to employer workplace health promotion

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

New ROI tool removing barriers to employer workplace health promotion

The final report from the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) on Designing and Testing a Return on Investment Tool for EAPs has now been published and is available to download from the UK EAPA website.

Created by the IES on behalf of UK EAPA, the tool responds to a lack of evidence for the cost-effectiveness of workplace health initiatives, as identified by the Stevenson-Farmer, Thriving At Work report.

An interim study report highlights that, despite evidence of the business case for investment in employee mental health promotion, previous data have not sufficiently related to the conditions of UK small- and medium-sized businesses – data are from large businesses in the United States.

Therefore, this tool aims to capture data of sufficient quality to demonstrate cost-effectiveness and workforce health benefits. IES drew on analysis from the field of human capital to calculate reliably the organisational productivity gains associated with improved wellbeing as a result of the use of EAPs.

In order to estimate the direct and indirect costs of sickness absence to an employer, the tool adds realism to cost estimates borne from the human capital approach, by making assumptions about the balance between direct and indirect costs.

Early indications from the data collected from the tool suggest that the ROI of EAPs is positive, even with lower absence and utility figures. IES will publish core findings of the study later in 2019.

IES Research Fellow and co-author of the report, Zofia Bajorek, commented: “There is a wealth of evidence available to suggest that the health and wellbeing of the workforce is important to focus on, yet the personal and financial costs of poor mental health for individuals and their employers suggest that more needs to be done to help those with mental health problems at work. In this context, it is important to ensure that health and wellbeing interventions should be evidence-based to be of greatest value to organisations.”

Neil Mountford, Chair of EAPA, commented: “While EAPs are among the most commonly used wellbeing interventions in the UK with close to half of the workforce (a total of almost 14 million) having access to an EAP, very few providers or employers have been able to collect data beyond basic take-up and satisfaction surveys.

“Data from the first users of the tool have shown that EAPs have a significantly positive return-on-investment in terms of organisational, as well as individual, outcomes. As we gather more data from EAP providers, IES will be able to further develop the tool and provide more in-depth analysis of financial outcomes – meaning increasing levels of credibility for the figures and their use with senior management and for wellbeing strategy investment.”

New guidance on Mental Health First Aid in the workplace

Written by Vicky Mulchinock on . Posted in News

New guidance on Mental Health First Aid in the workplace

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has this week launched best-practice guidance for employers and employees on implementing Mental Health First Aid in the workplace.

This follows the HSE’s recent enhancement of its First Aid guidance to clarify the existing need to consider mental health alongside physical health when undertaking a first aid needs assessment. It now states that employers should ‘consider ways to manage mental ill health in your workplace which are appropriate for your business, such as providing information or training for managers and employees, employing occupational health professionals, appointing mental health trained first aiders and implementing employee support programmes.

Developed in consultation with leading employers, the new guidance provides information on strategically embedding MHFA England training. It includes advice on the recruitment, promotion and support of staff trained in Mental Health First Aid as part of a whole systems approach to workplace mental health.

Alongside this, strengthened guidance on the role of the person trained in Mental Health First Aid skills has also been published to support employees. This covers the boundaries and responsibilities of those qualified at different levels; as Mental Health First Aiders, Mental Health First Aid Champions and Mental Health Aware.

Together the new guidance documents are designed to support employers of all shapes and sizes in acting on the HSE’s recommendation. According to the regulator, 15.4 million working days are lost due to mental ill health every year, and with its updated guidance, there’s now a need for employers across all sectors to understand how Mental Health First Aid training should be implemented in the workplace.

To date over 15,000 organisations across the country have trained staff in MHFA England courses using it as a way to ensure their first aid provision protects both the mental and physical health of their employees.

Andrew Kinder, UK EAPA executive board member, said: “EAPA supports this initiative from Mental Health First Aid England to fill the gap that the HSE identified regarding the ongoing support and supervision needs of MH First Aiders. It is vitally important that MH First Aiders receive proper support to deliver their role following their initial training. EAPs are ideal vehicles to provide this and at the same time will ensure that all services available to employees are linked together.”

Download the new guidance for employers at: www.mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/resources/for-workplaces/implementing-mhfa-employer-guide  

The enhanced guidance for Mental Health First Aiders can be found at: www.mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/resources/for-workplaces/mhfa-guide-to-your-role

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