Mental Health: What Are Your Responsibilities As An Employer?

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Common mental health issues such as stress can have consequences as diverse as increased absenteeism to feelings of negativity breeding throughout the workplace. This is particularly if colleagues are having to pick up slack from an absent employee.

So what are your responsibilities as an employer when it comes to mental health?

Under the Health and Safety at work Act 1974, your business is required to ensure employees’ health, safety, and welfare in the workplace – as far as is reasonably practical. The HSE expects businesses and organisations to ensure suitable risk assessments take place in order to gauge the stress levels of staff members. Plus, the 1999 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations mean employees are required to assess health and safety risks in the workplace for third parties.

The role of occupational health

In line with the HSE, an occupational health professional like OHBM will use audit tools allow your business to identify stress issues within your workplace. OHBM’s audit tools are suitable for use for both individuals and groups of employees.

If there is a risk, the health of the employee should be monitored regularly. With OHBM, members of the workforce can be referred at short notice to our experienced psychologists. Here, they can access stress management, assessment and treatment programmes.

To find out more about your obligations as an organisation when it comes to mental health and stress in the workplace, speak to the team at OHBM. We are more than happy to help.

Is Smartphone Use Causing Stress Within An “Always On” Culture?

Every year, 400,000 people in the UK claim work related stress is making them ill, according to Dr Alasdair Emslie, president of the Society of Occupational Medicine, as reported by the BBC. He says changes in technology are contributing to this stress. It’s not a surprise when you consider the “always-on” state many of us currently exist in, both in our work and personal lives.

Smartphones are a fantastic invention in many ways. They allow us to stay connected, do business from anywhere and everywhere and in theory increase our level of productivity. But is this “always connected” approach to business causing the work-life balance to go awry? Some experts think it is; that the increased demands of smartphone connectivity is making employees feel as though they’re unable to cope.

Increasing smartphone use

Ofcom reports that the amount of time we spend connected to media is rising. In fact, smartphones have caused our daily total media consumption to grow from 8 hours 48 minutes in 2010 to over 11 hours in 2014.

Many of us check our smartphones first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Three quarters of people are even reported to take their phones into the loo with them. Literally the only break from smartphones is sleep. Checking work emails and calls at all hours of the day isn’t giving employees the time and space they require to switch off, or spend time with their families or pursuing other interests.

Plus, according to a PwC report called The Future of Work – A Journey To 2022, we’re not working more productively even despite all of this extra data and connectivity.

The business consequences

If employees are expected to be constantly connected to their smartphones for work purposes, companies may well witness an increase in stress levels. Stress goes hand in hand with increased employee absenteeism, as well as unhealthy practices like drinking, smoking, and eating junk food.

On top of this, there is the problem of overworking. The European Working Time Directive caps the working week at 48 hours with an 11 hour break within every 24 hours. Employees won’t be operating under this legislation if they’re glued to their smartphones morning, noon and night.

Legislation and occupational health surrounding smartphone use is a serious issue for modern businesses – have you considered it carefully enough?

OHBM is a professional Manchester-based occupational health advisor. Please do get in touch with us for a free overview of your business’ occupational health.


OHBM: A Trusted Occupational Health Service In Manchester

At OHBM we understand that as a company your staff are your most important asset. That’s why it just makes sense to take good care of them and their health and wellbeing. We help business and other organisations in the Greater Manchester area to boost the health and wellbeing of their employees, largely by focusing on prevention rather than cure.

Healthy, valued employees are proven to achieve more and show a greater level of loyalty to your business – plus, they are easier to manage than those who feel taken advantage of or uncared for by your organisation. This all affects your bottom line.

A US study found that factors as common as being overweight can have a detrimental affect on your workforce. On average a normal-weight man will miss an average of 3 days a year due to illness or injury, while an overweight or obese man will miss around 5 days. Absences increase as employees gain more weight.

Another survey found that “77% of employees stated “health and wellness programs positively impact the culture at work.”

When employees are healthy and cared for, they are more motivated in the work environment and less likely to take time off due to physical and mental health issues.

If you’re currently considering whether you can afford to invest in occupational health services, we would ask you to consider whether you can afford not to. The cost savings through a positive attitude to workforce health can be extremely great.

For further information about how OHBM has helped businesses large and small, in the Manchester area and beyond, take a look at our testimonials. Or contact OHBM directly to discuss how we can help promote health and productivity within your workforce.

Workplace Drugs Testing And The Law [Video]

If you’re considering implementing workplace drugs testing, you need to be sure you’re up to speed on the legal implications of this task. While you do have a duty of protection and ensuring safety in the workplace, you can’t force a staff member to take a test.

At OHBM we can help guide you the drug testing process, whether this is something you’ve done before or you’re new to the process. Watch our video above for further information and contact the team today.

Stress Management And Wellbeing In The Workplace [Video]

One in five employees has taken time off work because of stress. Workplace pressures, long working hours, dealing with difficult clients, differences of opinion, feeling undervalued and large workloads all contribute to staff feeling stressed and unhappy. This can take its toll on both physical and mental health.

Unhealthy, unhappy team members tend to take more time off than employees who feel valued in the workplace. The impact of absentee staff has a huge impact on the workforce, who have to pick up the slack, as well as on your bottom line.

Happy, healthy employees are more productive and take less time off work. At Occupational Health Business Management we can help you to achieve this within your workforce with our stress management service. It helps you get the best from your employees, and ensures you are working within HSE guidelines, which expect you to undertake suitable risk assessments to identify potential areas of stress at work.

At OHBM we’ll work closely with your business, using audit tools to expertly identify issues. We have the ability to refer “at risk” team members at short notice to our team of psychologists for stress management, assessment and treatment programs.

Talk to OHBM about your requirements as a business, or any concerns you might have.

What’s Your Approach To Occupational Health?

Your occupational health strategy is intrinsic to the success of your business.

Healthy, happy, valued employees are more productive and take less days off sick. All of this helps you boost your bottom line, making your business more successful.

If you’re considering implementing an occupational health scheme at your workplace but don’t know where to start, speak to the team at OHBM. We’ve many years’ experience in the field, helping businesses both large and small in public and private sectors.

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have. Contact us for a free review of your business and a full report on the same day.

What is occupational health?

In the UK every year 170 million days are lost to sickness absence according to statistics published on the NHS website. The cost of this is level of sickness on the British economy is estimated to be around £100 billion every year, according to statistics published by the Government’s Black Review, which studied the health of the population at working age.


Occupational health advisors help you to keep your staff physically and mentally fit, allowing them to work more productively and take less time off due to sickness. The healthier your employees, the better your business performs. This is why an occupational health advisor is a vital aspect of your business.

Elements of your occupational health plan might include the following:

  • Eliminating health risks within your business
  • Ensuring you are meeting your statutory responsibilities
  • Providing health surveillance and screening facilities
  • Advice regarding long-term health problems
  • Reducing short-term sickness
  • Promoting wellbeing services in order to retain staff and boost productivity

OHBM helps businesses in a number of different sectors – from building sites to offices – to improve their business prospects through occupational health. If you’re still wondering “What is occupational health, and how would it work in my business setting?” contact us for further details.

Lack Of Effective Health Programs Costs £100billion A Year

Recent research has shown that the lack of understanding of effective health and wellbeing in the workforce is costing the UK economy more than £100billion a year. By tackling poor workplace health using more effective methods, the report says, the country could boost its GDP considerably.

UK productivity levels are at risk if companies ignore employee health, which could lead to a slower economic recovery for the country.

Of those workplaces that are looking into methods of effective health and wellbeing, too many are wasting their time and money on ineffective methods.

The study, which comes from the University of Salford and public health research consultants Caville Associates says that time and money is being wasted due to poor planning and execution of occupational health initiatives. This is despite the fact that there has been an increase in investment in workplace health over the last few years.

In answer to the problem, workplaces are being asked to form strategic partnerships to boost success rates of occupational health schemes. Asking advice from experts in the field such as OHBM, allows businesses to boost the success rates of their schemes by utilising the knowledge and experience of qualified industry professionals.

If you are seeking a way to implement a successful occupational health programme in your organisation, please speak to our advisers today. We offer free, impartial advice to senior managers, as well as a complementary analysis of your organisation, allowing you to make an informed decision.