BIBA delegates told mental health focus vital as lines become blurred

Brokers arriving in Manchester for the annual British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA)  conference in Manchester, today, have been told that they need to join the battle to raise awareness of the importance of tackling employee mental health.

David Jones, director of underwriting, property & packaged at QBE said the insurers would be delivering the message that brokers need to work with clients to highlight the benefits of ensuring staff mental health issues were addressed.

“We will be talking to our brokers around the Minds in Business campaign of which we are a part,” he explained. “The issue of the increased blurring of the lines between home and work is having an impact in mental health. The move to hybrid working has seen the clear section between work and home eroded and it is important that employers ensure that their staff have a clear work life balance.”

Jones added that QBE was not saying that they were not in favour of hybrid working.

“There are lots of positives with hybrid working,” he added. “for many it has been a successful change to their working lives. However on the flip side we need to ensure the lines do not blur.

“Poor mental health can impact the ability for staff to do their job.

“Aside from climate change  the vast majority of claims start with someone somewhere making a simple and unintentional human error.

“Someone has made a mistake that has caused a loss.  Ensuring that staff look after their mental health can be a big part of improving the risk landscape, for both our clients and us. It lends greater importance in the need to focus on staff mental health.

It is a message we will be send to our brokers and we are keen to work with them and the client to tackle what is an increasing risk, and one that with a very complex and dynamic current risk environment, can all to easily be missed.”

Jones’ comment come weeks after motor industry charity Ben launched a new scheme for physical and mental health checks for automotive companies.#

The health checks offer the opportunity for automotive employees to have one-on-one conversations about their physical and mental health with a qualified health professional. The health checks also identify potential issues and also suggest making positive changes so people can live and work well.

The health professional will then discuss results with each employee and compare them with national health guidelines to provide a clear understanding of their current physical health. In the physical and mental health check, employees will undertake the same physical health tests as well as a mental health check-in to see how they are feeling in terms of levels of stress, mood and worry and coping day-to-day.

Rachel Clift, health & wellbeing director at Ben, said: “It’s never been more important for employers to prioritise employee health and wellbeing, especially at the moment when there are multiple work and life pressures on our automotive family. Employee absences can be linked to lifestyle-related illnesses, with factors such as alcohol, obesity and smoking known to be at the root of many health conditions.

“With 1 in 3 automotive people reporting to be struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, providing a health check is a proactive step, empowering people to take control of their health and wellbeing so they can lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. By booking Ben Health Checks for your employees, you’re not only investing in your people and your business, you’ll also be supporting your industry charity.”