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
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."
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 (menopause, caring needs, etc) and supporting staff to thrive within their working environment, including reasonable 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.