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Why it Matters

The mental and physical wellbeing of Greater Manchester’s workforce is fundamental to the development of good employment across the city region.

Greater Manchester’s employees spend a minimum of 60% of their waking hours at work. For many people, that means over 50% of their day is spent inactive.

With more than half of waking hours spent in the workplace, its essential employers understand why high inactivity levels at work can be hugely problematic. Not only do inactive staff have an increased risk of health problems, they also have reduced workplace productivity.

We know there are many ways an active lifestyle is beneficial. Being active supports both physical and mental wellbeing, reducing health problems and decreasing stress levels. However, for many of Greater Manchester’s workforce, the working day involves limited physical activity. This inactivity is a real cause for concern.

In terms of mental health in Greater Manchester

  • There are 3,981 people in GM in contact with mental health services for every 100,000 of the population compared to 2,176 nationally.
  • At the current estimated rate of prevalence, there will be 34,973 people living with dementia in Greater Manchester by 2021
  • £615m is spent on mental health services across Greater Manchester, with a wide variance across localities.
  • The wider economic cost to GM of mental health is approximately £3.5bn

Supporter Commitment

Supporters of the Charter are fostering workplace health and wellbeing with the following commitment:

"We support the mental and physical health of all our employees, including adjustments for people with long-term conditions and disabilities, delivering high standards of health and safety in the workplace, and so reducing the costs of absences and providing the benefits of a more diverse workforce."

Membership Criteria

Charter members will be expected to support everyone to be a productive employee, accepting that all staff are individuals with differing needs, through providing evidence of:

  • The commitment of senior leaders to developing a culture where employees have the ability to take ownership of their individual role in relation to creating a healthy and productive workplace;
  • Systems to monitor staff wellbeing with a requirement to act on feedback with real and tangible outcomes;
  • Acknowledging different life stages and supporting staff to thrive within their working environment, including adjustments for people with long-term conditions and disabilities;
  • Acknowledging that mental health is a health and wellbeing issue that needs to be considered in relation to an organisation’s wider values and objectives, with strategies subject to regular reviews;
  • Managers having a specific objective to discuss employee wellbeing, with support in place to facilitate ongoing training and best practice;

Internal and/or external support services for staff to access as and when they need them and the management of sickness absence in line with ACAS or equivalent guidelines.

Help to Achieve It

Resources for fostering employee health and wellbeing.

Acas Resources

Acas is an independent, publicly-funded organisation that provides up-to-date information, independent advice, high quality training and works with employers and employees to solve problems and improve performance.

As of a partner of the GM Good Employment Charter, Acas has provided a document outlining their resources available to employers including online guidance, open access training, in-company training, and in-depth advisory work across the seven characteristics of good employment.

External web link - https://www.gmgoodemploymentcharter.co.uk/media/1084/acas-resource-links-gm-good-employment-charter-feb-2020.pdf

CIPD Resources

CIPD is the professional body for experts in people at work, championing better work and working lives by setting professional standards for HR and people development, as well as driving positive change in the world of work. 

Access resources from CIPD, including research and insights, guidance and fact sheets, as well as podcasts and other useful tools to help you understand and meet the seven good employment characteristics set out in the Charter for Greater Manchester.

External web link - http://www.cipd.co.uk/GMGEC-Resources

Domestic Abuse During COVID-19 Employer Pack

The government has put together this campaign and employer pack to guide organisations on how to support their employees who may be experiencing domestic abuse during this time. The pack signposts to guidance for employees and support services available, as well as a host of resources from the Employers' Initiative on Domestic Abuse.

External web link - https://www.gmgoodemploymentcharter.co.uk/media/1187/domestic-abuse-employer-pack.pdf

GM Health Hub Guidance

The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority have developed the GM Health Hub, full of free health and wellbeing resources to ensure people across Greater Manchester enjoy happier, healthier lives. 

The GM Health Hub contains guidance and signposts to support on a range of topics, including smoking, drinking, nutrition, physical activity and mental health. 

External web link - https://www.gmhealthhub.org/

GreaterSport Active Workplace Toolkit

GreaterSport is a charity that is changing lives through physical activity and sport to help make Greater Manchester the most active region in England.

The Active Workplace Toolkit is a free, one stop shop to help you get your workplace moving more. With information ranging from explaining the business case for physically active employees, ways to embed activity within the working day and success stories from other organisations across Greater Manchester.

External web link - https://www.greatersport.co.uk/what-we-do/live-age-well/active-workplaces

Mind Resources for Businesses

Mind is a mental health charity which provides advice and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They also campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

This resource page outlines the various free resources they offer to help organisations develop open and supportive workplaces. This includes a mental health at work commitment guide, guide to wellness action plans, and advice on how to support staff that are experiencing mental health problems. 

External web link - https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-your-staff/useful-resources/

The Growth Company Organisational Improvement Resource

The Growth Company Organisational Improvement is a social enterprise business, passionate about enabling growth and prosperity for individuals and businesses.

This document outlines the personalised services they offer to help organisations provide well-being and resilience programmes. These services include consultancy support, one-to-one mentoring and workshops to build better employee support frameworks, which align with the good employment characteristics. 

External web link - https://www.gmgoodemploymentcharter.co.uk/media/1129/the-growth-company-organisational-improvement-2020.pdf

Other quality standards that will demonstrate good practice in this characteristic are