On the 8th February 2017, Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty’s Government “what measures they are taking to improve productivity in the United Kingdom economy.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, one factor that influences productivity is issues of health, particularly mental health. Something like nearly three out of 10 employees are reporting some sort of mental health problem each year, which analysts believe is costing employers something like £30 billion a year. Will the Minister tell the House what the Government are doing to support employers in encouraging high levels of well-being and what is being done to lessen the stigma of mental ill health—in particular, encouraging employees to access mental health services that are already available to them?
Lord Brampton of Prior: The right reverend Prelate makes an important point. Not only is mental ill health a disaster for people individually, it also affects the productivity of the whole workforce. It is hard to answer the question because companies vary so much. There are some great employers who do an excellent job of looking after the well-being of their employees, and there are some who, as we know, do a rotten job. I would like to take away the question the right reverend Prelate asked and write to him in more detail.