Agenda item

To present the “Time to Change” Employer Pledge Action Plan to Members of the Human Resources Committee.


There was submitted a report by the Deputy Chief Executive, presented by the HR & Business Manager (Katie Wilkins), which presented the ‘Time to Change’ Employer Pledge Action Plan.


The Committee recalled that at its meeting held on 1 November 2017 it had agreed with Officer proposals to further develop the work around staff health and wellbeing through a focus on mental health. This included a commitment to:-


(1)        Raise awareness and promote positive mental health in the workplace; and


(2)        Develop an action plan to include:


(i)         Training for staff and managers to increase understanding of mental health;            what it Is, what mental ill health actually means and recognising signs and      symptoms.


(ii)        Identify, initially 8 staff to be trained as Mental Health First Aiders (Training provider: Mental Health First Aid England).


(iii)       Further development of the Intranet to enhance the information on mental   health e.g. the mental health mapping tool, self-help and where staff can go          for further support.


(iv)       Continuation of the conversation around mental health through initiatives as            part of TDC’s livewell/workwell programme.


(v)        Signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge.


Members were reminded that there was significant evidence to demonstrate that looking after the mental health of employees made clear business sense as mental ill-health was the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee, per year (1 in 4 British workers are affected by conditions like anxiety, depression and stress every year).  The same evidence reported that tackling the stigma of mental ill-health could make a measurable difference to sickness absence rates, presenteeism levels, staff wellbeing, productivity and retention.


It was reported that Officers had now developed a detailed action plan for submission to the ‘Time to Change’ organisation (run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness). The plan outlines the Council’s current and proposed activity against the 7 key principles of the pledge, in an attempt to establish change in how the workplace thought about and acted on mental health problems:-


1.         Demonstrate senior level buy-in;

2.         Demonstrate accountability and recruit Employee Champions;

3.         Raise awareness about mental health;

4.         Update and implement policies to address mental health problems in the workplace;

5.         Ask your employees to share their personal experiences of mental health problems;

6.         Equip line managers to have conversations about mental health;

7.         Provide information about mental health and signpost to support services.


It was important to note that the action plan should be a ‘living’ document, which was reviewed regularly and edited as the organisation’s plans evolved.


Members were advised that following submission of the action plan, the ‘Time to Change’ team would provide detailed feedback within 4 weeks, to which, the Council would have two weeks to respond and resubmit the plan (if necessary). Once agreed, the Employer Pledge would be issued.


In achieving the Employer Pledge, the Council would be able to demonstrate a commitment to not only change how it thought about and acted on mental health in the workplace but also ensured that employees who were facing those problems felt supported.


It was moved by Councillor Raby, duly seconded and unanimously RESOLVED that:


(a)        the contents of the report be noted; and


(b)        that the submission of the ‘Time to Change’ Employer Pledge Action Plan, to          enable the Council to attain the Employer Pledge be approved.






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