Three quarters of employers feel it is their responsibility to support staff with mental health wellbeing, such as access to counselling and mental health first aiders, research shows.
The survey by GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector, found half of employees agreed with this sentiment.
Employers perceive mental health to be the number one priority for employees – and staff also prioritised this over other wellbeing concerns, the survey shows.
In other areas of health and wellbeing, however, employers and employees’ priorities do not always tally.
The survey found 70% of employers believe it is their responsibility to support staff with their physical wellbeing, for instance with access to physio and rehabilitation, but only 32% of employees felt this is the responsibility of their employer.
Employees ranked financial wellbeing support from their employer as more important than physical wellbeing support (36% as against 32%), however 46% of employers don’t believe the financial wellbeing of their staff to be their responsibility at all. Financial support is second only to mental health in terms of employees’ top priorities for wellbeing support.
Just under two-thirds (61%) of employers think it is their responsibility to ensure the social wellbeing of staff but only 27% of staff think this is an area for employer support and it was the least-prioritised area of wellbeing by employees.
The research found only 6% of employers believe they have no responsibility at all for the wellbeing of their staff, however 30% of employees believe their employer has no duty of care for the areas of mental health, financial, physical or social wellbeing.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said employees have clearly highlighted that their priorities are mental wellbeing and financial wellbeing and it’s important that employers respond to this.
She said group risk products are one way of providing support, and the embedded extra services within group risk products can ensure all areas of wellbeing are covered.
“Whichever way employers decide to offer support, it’s important that they regularly review what’s available and put in place support that’s fit for purpose, and that their staff value and know how to utilise,” she added.