Mental Health Charity Calls For Future of Work Commission

A leading mental health charity has called on the Scottish and UK governments to set up a commission to help improve workplace wellbeing.

Mental Health Foundation in Scotland (MHF) said a Future of Work Commission could help ensure post-pandemic labour practices support mental wellbeing.

Its suggestions include exploring the benefits of shorter working hours.

The charity would also like to see new measures brought in to reduce job insecurity.

The call came as the UK government’s furlough scheme aimed at protecting workers’ jobs drew to a close.

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MHF envisages a commission composed of public and private sector employers and workers, as well as government and mental health group representatives.

Although employment law is a reserved matter, the Scottish government operates a fair work strategy which includes the devolved employment support service, Fair Start Scotland.

MHF in Scotland senior policy manager Toni Giugliano said the Scottish government had already taken some positive steps on wellbeing, with the creation of a new Mental Health and Employment working group.

But he argued that the end of the furlough safety net and the removal of the Universal Credit uplift by the UK government meant more needed to be done “to reassure and protect people in these uncertain times”.

‘Root Causes’

Mr Giugliano said: “Poverty, job insecurity and under-employment are among the root causes of poor mental health.

“We need to do all we can to ensure that no person in Scotland finds themselves at further risk due to the pandemic.

“Establishing a more visible and vocal Commission for the Future of Work will confirm the Scottish government’s commitment to safeguarding the wellbeing of workers across Scotland in the post-pandemic years and beyond.

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“It will enable us to bring more representatives and organisations from across public and private sectors, including workers, together to inform and drive the policy decisions that will reset our working lives in a positive way that supports both good mental health and economic productivity.”

Gordon Mcintyre, founder of Hospitality Health, which works with employers in the sector, said: “We very much agree with the idea of a commission which would support all industries to create a better work-life balance and wellbeing for all employees.

“There has never been a time in the industry that staff have needed mental health support more.

“The wellbeing and mental health of the staff in the sector has been pushed considerably in the past 18 months as a result of the pandemic.”

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By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

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