Randstad, one of the global leaders in HR services, today reveals the importance of mental health awareness at work, with shocking new statistics showing that over half of UK workers don’t feel comfortable speaking about mental health in the workplace.

A survey of over 2,100 revealed that 55% of respondents wouldn’t feel comfortable speaking to their manager about mental health. The importance of raising awareness is reinforced today by the international recognition of World Mental Health Day. With one in 6.8 people experiencing mental health problems in the workplace (Mental Health Foundation), it’s an important issue that can’t go unnoticed. 

According to a survey by the charity Mind, mental health issues are worse in the public sector, where mental wellbeing lags behind the private sector. It found public sector workers were a third more likely to say their mental health was worse than peers in the private sector. A 2018 Randstad survey of over 2,100 teaching staff however revealed the opposite, when focusing on the education sector. An overwhelming 94% of teachers believed they have either ‘good’ or ‘perfect’ mental health while 5% said their mental wellbeing was poor. Just two respondents (0.3%) said they had ‘very poor’ mental health.

In construction the problem is more severe, with construction workers three times more likely to take their own life than the rest of the population. Recognising the severity of mental illness, last year Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering published some alarming statistics following a survey carried out of 3,400 construction workers. The report revealed that more than a third (34%) admitted that they experienced a mental health condition in the last year, and their mental health state was prompting them to consider changing career. 

Graham Trevor, HR Director of Randstad UK, said: “It’s deeply distressing to know that around 300,000 people with a long-term mental health problem will leave their job this year. Findings from mental health charity Mind also reinforces concern, with findings showing that three quarters of line managers feel confident supporting a team member, but their support only works if those suffering know who to turn to. 

“Our survey reveals a clear disconnect between managers being open to discussion, but workers not feeling confident enough to open up. This is something that needs to be addressed immediately and become a key area of focus for employers. At Randstad, we’ve invested in additional training for our HR Business Partners to become trained mental health first aiders, we’re promoting internal initiatives to boost awareness and we have committed to launching a new and improved wellbeing strategy to support our employees on mental, physical and financial wellbeing.”

Any employees facing mental health problems are encouraged to speak to their line manager or HR representative to ensure appropriate steps are taken and help is provided where necessary. Anyone who feels that they cannot speak to anyone in the workplace are encouraged to contact the relevant support experts, as recommended by the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/ 

About the poll

Poll conducted on Randstad UK’s website in Sept/Oct 2018. 

About Randstad

The Randstad Group is a global leader in the HR services industry and specialises in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources services. We support people and organisations in realising their true potential. Our services range from regular temporary Staffing and permanent placements to In-house Services, Professionals, and HR Solutions (including Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Managed Services Programs, and outplacement). Randstad has top-three positions in Argentina, Belgium & Luxembourg, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States, and major positions in Australia and Japan.

At year-end 2017, Randstad had 38,331 corporate employees and 4,858 branches and Inhouse locations in 39 countries around the world. In 2017, Randstad generated revenue of € 23.3 billion. Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. Randstad N.V. is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, where options for stocks in Randstad are also traded.

Poll conducted on Randstad UK’s website in Sept/Oct 2018. 

For more information on Randstad within the UK, please visit www.randstad.co.uk

Gemma Umney
Head of Content and Comms - gemma.umney@randstad.co.uk