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Only a fifth of employers have met first mental health ‘core standard’

Stevenson/Farmer review calls for businesses to meet six standards

Only one in five of UK employers have achieved the first core standard outlined in the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers.

The review suggested that all UK employers should meet a framework of six core standards to improve their workplace mental health. The report also highlighted that all organisations should be capable of meeting these standards quickly.

However, the poll from Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing of more than 150 senior HR and Finance professionals shows just 19% of organisations surveyed had achieved the first core standard, which asks employers to “Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan”. 

Almost half (48%) of all respondents hadn’t yet made any progress towards this standard. 

Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Howden, said the first core standard is a vital milestone for any organisation serious about improving their workforce mental health. 

“The fact that so few employers have yet achieved even this level of compliance with the recommendations is indicative of the challenges employers perceive in tackling this often-sensitive issue,” he stated.

The survey also found that less than one in 10 employers had met all six of the suggested core standards. However, most respondents indicated that some action was at least underway, with just 16% admitting to no progress at all.  “Our experience suggests employers are very keen to take action in this area, but often lack both the confidence and support to achieve this aim.  We would strongly encourage more organisations to urgently seek professional assistance in the planning and implementing of a robust workplace mental health plan and solution,” Herbert added.