Improving mental health in the workplace has been highlighted by WorkSafe as part of their 10 year strategic plan. This is in line with the obligation PCBU’s have under the Health & Safety at Work Act 2011, but many businesses aren’t addressing this area of concern.
The insurance law firm Wotton & Kearney, says that the insurance space is far from doing enough to support its staff in coping with mental health issues. Wotton & Kearney partner, Antony Holden said,
“When it comes to addressing mental health in the workplace, we can all do much better. Law firms in particular have dealt with some well-publicised issues around how we can improve people’s wellbeing at work.”
According to Insurance Business, the number of psychological injury claims lodged with the NSW Government’s Nominal Insurer – now known as icare workers’ insurance – has remained steady over a five-year period among the 300,000 businesses insured with icare.
Finance and insurance industry employees are the most vulnerable to psychological injuries, representing 15% of all icare workers’ insurance claims during the past five years, according to data from icare.
Despite these figures and the increasing focus from WorkSafe, most workplaces in the finance and insurance industry have yet to acknowledge the impact poor mental health and overworking on its staff.
The main factors driving employees to lodge these claims are anxiety stress disorders, which made up 45% of all psychological claims as well as depression and reaction to stressors.
Workplace bullying was the most common cause of psychological injury, reflecting 39% of all claims, followed by work-related pressure and exposure to trauma.
GB’s TriEx Health and First Aid Manager Craig McGuigan say’s “We’ve been listening to the recommendations from WorkSafe and the need from the market to address mental health as part of a comprehensive Health, Safety & Wellness strategy. We’ve responded with the introduction of our Psychological First Aid course which our clients tell us is invaluable for their team.” Craig say’s “Mental Health in the workplace is an area we want to continue to grow.”
Promoting a mentally healthy workplace can lead to greater job satisfaction, productivity, talent retention and long-term cost savings.