Workplace Report (June 2021)

Health & safety news

Unions mark Mental Health Week

Mental health policies must be put in place or Covid-related pressures and increased home working could “act as detonators of mental health problems for those delivering vital public services”, says the UNISON public services union. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week last month, it published a new guide, Bargaining on mental health policies, to help branches ensure employers “treat mental health with the seriousness it deserves”.

“Covid-19 is set to affect people’s working lives for many years to come,” said UNISON national officer Kevin Russell. “It is vitally important that UNISON sets a bargaining agenda that defends the interests of our members in dealing with those changes.”

The Unite general union marked the week with a roundtable event to discuss how to tackle the growing mental health crisis in road haulage, warehousing and logistics. Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland chaired the event, the first of its kind in the sector, bringing together representatives from employers including Biffa, DHL, Gist and Wincanton, the mental health charity Mates in Mind, and the DfT transport department.

It aimed to secure agreement for research into mental health issues and begin work on agreeing an industry standard on how to tackle the problem and support workers.

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