STUC survey uncovers disproportionate equalities impact of COVID-19 and an alarming lack of trust in employers to safeguard mental health

November 17th 2020

STUC survey uncovers disproportionate equalities impact of COVID-19 and an alarming lack of trust in employers to safeguard mental health

November 17th 2020

To coincide with its Congress on Tuesday 17th November, the STUC will release excerpts from a survey of over a thousand workers exploring the mental health and equality impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The survey finds that the crisis has exacerbated a pre-existing lack of trust in employers when it comes to disclosing mental health conditions. Linked to this is the lack of a positive response from employers when mental health conditions are disclosed.

• Workers’ mental health has been significantly affected throughout COVID-19. Those whose mental health has improved have expressed this has been due to feeling more in control and being away from work.

• Most workers do not trust their employers in relation to supporting their mental health.

• 43% of people have been offered no form of risk assessment for working at home.

• Most people do not feel supported by their employer when disclosing that there are battling with poor mental health. 47% do not feel comfortable disclosing to their employer.

• 67% of people who have disclosed they have a mental health issue or illness have been offered no form of reasonable adjustment for their mental health.

• 80% of Disabled Workers are worried at the impacts that next 6 months will have on their mental health.

Commenting on the survey results, STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said:

“Whilst many workers say that their mental health has worsened since the onset of the crisis, others say it has improved. For these respondents, escaping workplace stress is seen as a positive factor despite the difficulties with homeworking. This should be a warning to employers that a healthy working environment takes work to create and maintain.

“Despite the fact that poor mental health has become more honestly and openly discussed as a public issue, it appears that many workplaces have a long way to go in enabling people to be confident in disclosing mental health conditions or for supporting those who do.

“Employers should take heed of this. A crisis of trust between workers and managers could result long term damaging impacts to a workplace and it’s workers. Employers need to understand that workers’ mental health is as important as their physical health, and must be treated as such.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact Rachel Thomson, Campaigns & Communications Officer, on 07974966227.

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