In 2018, the average level of employee absence was 4.4 days for the year.
But it’s not just physical illness that causes absence at work, there is a rising rate of employees facing challenges due to their mental wellbeing – with 17.5 million working days lost due to mental health issues in 2018 alone.
For a North East charity with a mission of ‘Health, Wellbeing and Learning for All’, it is paramount to take action and prioritise those with caring responsibilities and employee health and wellbeing overall.
The Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP), is delighted to work alongside and deliver the County Durham Better Health at Work Award (BHAWA), to not only make a positive change for work life balance within the organisation, but encourage others to do the same.
Debbie Fox works at PCP as Frailty Linker Worker, and is also a full time carer to her son, Evan, who has autism. Through PCP working with the BHAWA, they have listened to working carers like Debbie and adapted to raise awareness and become a carer friendly organisation.
Debbie, said: “By sharing my story I hoped it would raise awareness for people to be mindful of what others may be dealing with behind closed doors, but as far as PCP goes, it has always been the most family and carer friendly organisation I have worked for.
“I have never had any issues at all having time out for appointments or reviews with Evan and have never been made to feel bad for taking time off if we needed to. I can’t be thankful enough as I have worked places where people really didn’t understand and I was made to feel really stressed and anxious when it came to asking for time off.
“PCP’s actions really do match their words, and I feel very lucky to be part of such a fantastic team and the fact they have obtained Carer Friendly Status now makes me feel really grateful and valued, and being valued is the best thing you could ask for and makes me want to do better for PCP and share this ethos.”
Through working with the BHAWA, supporting working carers is just one of the many ways the awarding scheme engages employers to focus on employee health and wellbeing – with financial wellbeing, smoking, healthy eating, mental health and dementia awareness just a few of the inspiring topics.
Employers that work with the BHAWA have said that absenteeism is down, with levels of productivity at an all-time high.
Karen Stubbings, Project Lead of Workplace Health, and delivery of the BHAWA at PCP, said: “It’s amazing to see employees say how valued they feel following their employer becoming focused on health and wellbeing.
“With many staff across organisations now working at home or changing to new working routines, it’s important to raise awareness of employee health - especially mental health.
“Any organisation can sign up to prioritise workplace health through the BHAWA, and our team will give you the tools, training and support you need to do so.
“The BHAWA is completely free and organisations in County Durham that sign up will be joining the likes of PCP, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Con Mech Engineers, Warrens Group and more.”
Take the first steps to be recognised as a health and wellbeing focused employer with the BHAWA by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the BHAWA, visit their website.