Ongoing cuts to public sector services are leading to increasing workloads, work-related stress and mental health issues among employees, the CSP has warned.
CSP delegates to the TUC Disabled Workers Conference: Cliff Towson, convenor of the CSP Disabled Members’ Network, and Laura Haynes, a physio at Gorseinon Hospital in Swansea
This was the message from Cliff Towson, a visually impaired physiotherapist who works for Birmingham Community NHS Trust. He was proposing a motion on behalf of the society at the TUC Disabled Workers Conference, held in London from 18-19 May.
‘High vacancy rates and prolonged restructuring mean that staff are struggling with unmanageable workloads,’ he said.
‘We are seeing members going off sick with work-related stress, anxiety, depression or musculoskeletal injury or being taken through performance management and capability procedures, when the fault really lies in an under-staffed and grossly under-resourced system.
‘Our members, and many others, are committed to doing a good job for their patients but this is often at the expense of their health and wellbeing, both physical and mental.’
But he added that employers could be saving money if they put more focus on the health and wellbeing of their staff.
Save money by investing in staff wellbeing
Delegates heard that the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions have estimated that every pound spent on employee wellness results in a saving of £2.50, due to reduced sickness absence and increased staff retention.
‘We know that investing in employee wellbeing produces an economic benefit to the employer,’ said Mr Towson.
‘This can include individual wellbeing programmes, direct access to occupational health and services such as physiotherapy, complementary therapy, health related training or coaching, discounted gym membership and events linked to national campaigns such as Stop Smoking Week.’
He called on the TUC and its affiliates to emphasise the economic benefit to employers of investing time and money in employee rehabilitation and preventive action.
The National Union of Teachers seconded the motion and conference delegates passed it unanimously.
CSP’s Pinpoint the Pressure campaign seeks to tackle workplace stress caused by unacceptable workloads.
Author: Robert Millett
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