Santander signs Mental Health at Work Commitment

Santander has augmented its already industry-leading employee wellbeing strategy by throwing its weight behind a brand new national initiative to improve mental health care in the workplace .

Launched last week by a collaboration of mental health care charities and non-governmental organisations, the Mental Health at Work Commitment is designed to celebrate best practice policies amongst employers large and small to drive up the level of support provided to employees with mental health problems across UK industry.

Welcoming Santander’s decision to become one of the Commitment’s first signatories, CWU assistant secretary Sally Bridge points out the move builds on the Bank’s enlightened employee wellbeing offering which already provides a wide range of support for employees to help safeguard their mental, physical, social and financial health.

It’s now nearly two years since the Bank launched an innovative mental wellbeing app called ‘Thrive’ which has already been downloaded by a substantial number of employees – and Santander’s focus on what it terms as the ‘four pillars of wellbeing’ is currently in year one of a three year programme which only this month saw the company launch a groundbreaking initiative to support female employees going through the menopause. See story here

“Just as the menopause initiative provides a blueprint that the union believes other employers could and should follow, the CWU believes that Santander deserves credit for being at the forefront of mental health awareness in the workplace,” Sally stresses.

“While the work the Bank is already doing behind the scenes to safeguard and improve the mental wellbeing of its workforce means it’s already delivering what the Mental  Health at Work Commitment calls for, public pledges are nonetheless extremely important when it comes to shining a light on former taboo issues which are important to get out in the open.

“Above everything, what’s important is the creation of an open culture around mental health which encourages employees to feel able to speak about their problems and receive the support they need.”

Specific provisions of the pledge Santander signed this week include the fostering of just such an ‘open culture’, the provision of active support for those undergoing mental health problems and the development of an organisational culture that drive positive outcomes.

Head of Culture and Inclusion, Damien Shieber, concludes: “Our focus on mental wellbeing, aligned to our sustainability strategy, aims to create a thriving workplace, with our culture prioritising wellbeing and promoting diversity and inclusion.”