Staff are withholding health issues from employers, BHSF Survey Finds

BIRMINGHAM, England, July 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Employers should be on alert regarding the health of their staff, after a…

BIRMINGHAM, England, July 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Employers should be on alert regarding the health of their staff, after a survey revealed not all employees are disclosing positive Covid-19 cases.

According to a survey of 2,000 UK workers by workplace wellbeing specialists BHSF, of those surveyed that have contracted Covid-19, a startling 14% did not inform their employers.

With cases continuing to rise, employers run the risk of staff continuing to hide their health issues if support is not made available or employees feel they cannot be honest about their health.

The survey also uncovered that 48% of the UK’s workers do not inform employers when suffering from issues impacting their personal life. This includes matters relating to mental health, physical health, grief and finance.

Additionally, staff are not comfortable talking to their line manager about life-impacting concerns. A staggering 64% are not comfortable discussing physical health worries with their line manager, while only 41% would be happy to discuss mental health issues.

When asked whether any health and wellbeing support was available from employers, a worrying 50.5% said no. According to BHSF, the continued uncertainty on how businesses implement a return to office life could risk a rising hidden health crisis, particularly if support is not provided.

Shelley Rowley, Chief Transformation Officer at BHSF, said: «There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding work life at the moment, and with Covid cases continuing to rise, businesses are rightly erring on the side of caution about a blanket return to the office. However, there is a real risk that staff are withholding health issues following 18 months of disruption in the working environment. This is unlikely to change if working from home continues and businesses do not have adequate support available.

«It is critical that staff feel they can be honest about their health issues, and it is clear that not everybody is. Businesses must step up and ensure their teams are fully supported. This can be achieved by having an open dialogue with staff, and creating an inclusive environment whereby staff can be truthful about their health.

«If action is not taken, businesses run the risk of a long-term crisis where workers continue to hide issues. Not only would this impact productivity and commercial performance, but it could also lead to low team morale and staff turnover.»

The statistics form part of a report launched by BHSF. The Big Return offers guidance on how to support staff as businesses prepare for permanent working policies. To download the report, please visit https://www.bhsf.co.uk/thebigreturn/.

About the Survey

BHSF surveyed 2,000 UK office workers who have worked from home during the pandemic. The survey was conducted by 3Gem.

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