Sky News and The Guardian have recently reported that Poor health of public ‘is holding back UK growth, former chief economist at the Bank of England Andy Haldane has warned. “We’re in a situation for the first time, probably since the Industrial Revolution, where health and wellbeing are in retreat,” he said. “Having been an accelerator of wellbeing for the last 200 years, health is now serving as a brake in the rise of growth and wellbeing of our citizens.” He said the pandemic was a tipping point for a health service that has seen one of the lowest rates of investment in the G7. Citing a record number of unfilled vacancies, Mr Haldane proclaimed: “We haven’t got enough people.” Meanwhile, Sky News reports that long-term sickness and mental health conditions are driving a rise in the number of people in the UK neither working nor seeking work to almost 9m. Levels of economic inactivity among the long-term sick jumped by 537,500 between the year to June 2019 and the year to June 2022, figures from the Office of National Statistics show. Around 454,300 can be attributed to mental health conditions, such as depression, stress and anxiety orders. Sky News notes a recent report by Deloitte which found the annual costs to UK employers of poor mental health have increased by 25% since the start of the pandemic.
Matthew Pinto-Chilcott – Owner of Consensus HR comments: “We have seen a vast increase in mental health sickness with our clients, with anxiety being one of the most frequent. Business owners and manager are finding it hard to manage some of their team with the current state of the economy not helping. We have always advised our clients to seek the relevant professional medical advice when needed from the medical professionals but are finding getting this information harder due to pressure GP’s are currently under. Business owners / managers need to ensure that despite the pressures of the business such as turnover and customer service and success of the business being key, that their duty of care towards their team members if of the utmost importance if they wish these KPI’s to be maintained presently and in the future. Business owners / Managers should be able to speak to their team members when issues have been identified in a confident, confidential and friendly manner to be able to gain their consent if needed to write to their GP for information on how to help their team member work and be part of the business. Too many times we find that many employees believe there is an ulterior motive for asking for consent to write to their GP when it is purely to find out from the professionals what can be done and if any reasonable adjustments need to be made. This is not easy with all the other pressures of the business on a business owner / managers shoulders and I know personally from experience when working in operations for Forte Restaurants & Welcome Break to name a few but needs to be managed accordingly.