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Is work affecting your health?

29 March 2018


Is work affecting your health? Islington-based service, Get Back on Track offers help


The workplace can be a challenging terrain as demands on workers intensify. With longer working hours, less job security, bullying and more expectation to be on-call outside of normal working hours; not to mention stagnant wages and the rising cost of living, this has contributed to a marked increase in work-related stress, depression and anxiety across the UK’s workforce.  

If you are experiencing problems at work, the reality is that—in the current climate—there are relatively few options available. The end of March 2018 will see the closure of the Government’s Fit for Work Service which offered free occupational health support to employers that have staff that are ‘long term sick’ due to their health as well as telephone-based advice to employees. Unfortunately, a lack of publicity around the campaign seemed to seal the demise of the service as reflected in the low referral numbers.

The findings from the, Mental Health at Work Report 2017 (opens in a new tab or window) by Business in the Community (opens in a new tab or window) presents a stark picture of the current landscape for those affected by mental health issues in the workplace. The findings, based on a YouGov panel survey of 3,006 employees from various sectors and backgrounds and across a range of organisational levels, reports that 15% of employees faced disciplinary proceedings or were dismissed after disclosing a mental health issue, compared to 9% [the previous] year; and that significantly more employees said action had been taken after they disclosed a mental health issue. Sadly, these findings are now an established trend that only grows more acute as workers continue to feel the pinch.      
   
Without appropriate support, complex workplace issues can lead to a variety of negative outcomes including long term health problems, diminished career prospects, detrimental effects on families, and in some cases, long term unemployment. Given the wider implications for society, this should only serve to underscore the urgency to offer support services that can address these issues.

Islington, however, is one of the few London boroughs that is able to offer support to people that are experiencing problems at work that are affecting their health. Get Back on Track is a free Islington-based service that was launched by Shaw Trust to help residents with a wide-range of work-related problems including bullying, managing a mental health condition at work, long term sickness and reasonable adjustments, as well as practical issues that make it difficult for residents to remain in work. The service offers intensive one-to-one support, help and advice as well as assistance with writing letters, mediation with employers, information on employment law and HR issues, health & wellbeing support and can offer coaching to find alternative employment.

If you think that you would benefit from Get Back on Track, you can contact the team directly on tel 0800 389 0177 or email getbackontrack@nhs.net. More information is available from www.shaw-trust.org.uk/getbackontrack (opens in a new tab or window).

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