What NOT to forget as BREXIT progresses

We are all being affected by the delays to Brexit and the uncertainties ahead, so it’s vital that mental health issues in the workplace are not overlooked

The Health & Safety Executive website informs us that in preparation for Brexit the H&SE have removed references to the word ‘EU’. Apart from that change the following statement is made: ‘After Brexit you should continue to manage your business and employees in a proportionate way to reduce risk and to protect people and the environment. Your obligations to protect people’s health and safety will not change with Brexit.’

We still don’t know exactly how we will be leaving the EU and, in terms of timing, the March 31st target came and went, so now we are aiming at Halloween.  And when business owners or journalists ask politicians, ‘What is going to happen to businesses in the event of a hard Brexit?’, the answer tends to be a rather unconvincing, ‘We will be fine’.

What people seem to have forgotten is that this uncertainty could be significantly affecting stress levels among a range of people. Thankfully, mental health and well-being are subjects that have come to the forefront of health discussions with employees over the last year, with the benefit of knowing that there is a safe place to go to and to open up if they have worries.

If, for example, an employee’s take-home pay relates to sales commissions and they perceive that this element of their remuneration has slowed down or stalled because of Brexit, personal stress levels could rise. Difficult discussions could take place at home with family finances coming under pressure; they might even think that their job is seriously at risk.

We must all make sure that we are aware how our families, staff and colleagues are being affected by Brexit. Conversations, discussions and arguments relating to this difficult subject can be so polarised that our people – and how they are feeling – may get lost in the confusion.

VARTAN’s experienced consultants are ready to help, so if you would like advice on how to manage your Health & Safety risks, including your duty of care when it comes to mental health and well-being issues in the workplace, please contact us.