Employment: Mental Health

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of George Howarth George Howarth Labour, Knowsley

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to implement the six core standards for workplaces as set out in the Government’s thriving at work report; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

In November 2017, the joint DWP/DHSC Work and Health Unit (WHU) published Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability setting out our response to Thriving at Work and WHU is now overseeing progress across 40 recommendations. The Civil Service is committed to being a leading employer and implementing the core and enhanced mental health standards to deliver lasting cultural change. All main government departments have benchmarked themselves against the mental health standards to identify best practice and areas requiring further action, and every Civil Service Permanent Secretary now has a performance objective directly related to implementing the standards and Civil Service Wellbeing Confident Leaders training is being rolled out to senior leaders.

One of the review’s recommendations was about transparency as a significant opportunity to encourage cultural change around mental health. We have worked with partners, including employers, to develop a framework to support organisations to record and voluntarily report information on disability and mental health in the workplace. This framework was published on 22nd November 2018 and is aimed at large employers with 250 or more employees. The WHU is an active member of the Thriving at Work Leadership Council consisting of a range of business and public sector representatives, and leading trade associations. The council is an employer led group that will continue to meet throughout 2019 with the primary objectives to champion the mental health standards and explore innovative solutions to further drive their implementation and adoption. Individual members committed to promoting the standards through their networks and to create sector champions.

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