This year has been incredibly challenging for businesses in Swindon, and we are now starting to see the effects of loss of income upon employers across the town.
Business leaders are now in a position where they have to make really difficult decisions and employees are facing really tough times.
We want to take this opportunity to remind business leaders across the town to look after their wellbeing. Leading staff through a pandemic would likely have been a balancing act between work and your own life challenges and having to then support staff with their work/ life challenges on top would have required going the extra mile.
Swindon services have come together to promote the importance of supporting staff exiting an organisation. Nationally there has been a real drive around the importance of workplace health and wellbeing and the UK is taking great strides in this area of work. Presenteeism is also now being viewed as a priority so it is no longer just about managing sickness absence.
Supporting employees whilst they are with you is really important but equally if businesses are having to make redundancies, supporting the wellbeing of a staff member exiting a business is just as important. Having the initial conversation with staff takes some planning, with good and clear communication needed, as well as following legal processes to ensure equality and good business ethics. Equally crucial is the support around health and wellbeing, consider these points:
- The prospect of losing a job can bring a range of emotions, some people may be pleased to make a change, whilst other may experience symptoms of grief.
- Other team members may be affected by the changes; even if they are not losing their jobs, there may still be an impact on their wellbeing.
- Those involved in the decision-making process may also be impacted and their wellbeing needs to be taken into consideration.
You may have access to an employee assistant programme or perhaps your organisation has other initiatives in place to support emotional and mental health, but if that isn’t an option please signpost people to the range of support services Swindon has on offer (mentioned below). The earlier people access support, the easier it is for them to recover.
After a consultation process is complete, this can bring about the next stage of challenges for people and there are some steps employers can take to support their employees right up until the day they leave. Early intervention is vital so even if your employee has a long notice period it is still important to engage health and wellbeing support as early as possible.
Financial strain can be a knock-on effect of a job loss and can affect a huge part of an employee’s personal life. If your business is not able to offer anything in-house you can still support your staff by discussing external support on offer to them if they live in Swindon.
Citizens Advice offer a range of support around redundancies, which can be found via this link. They offer guided support around benefit entitlements including a full benefits check. They can give support to people who are worried about paying their rent, mortgage, council tax or other bills and help people making a new claim to Universal Credit.
Citizens Advice Swindon can be contacted on 0344 4994114 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And the Help to Claim Service (support with early stages of Universal Credit) can be reached on 0800 144 8 444 or by clicking here.
Support around emotional and mental health
Tasting Colours is a project that support local people impacted by redundancy by working with them 1-2-1 to help them redefine their direction and take control of their futures. This is a free service to Swindon residents that are going through a redundancy process and though it is not a mental health service, Tasting Colours work closely with Swindon Mind and Ipsum to signpost people to extra support if they need it.
Tasting Colours are happy to link into businesses directly to support your staff and can be contacted by email- email@example.com
Swindon Mind offer a range of interventions to support people in the Swindon and Shrivenham area with mental health. This includes coordinating a wellbeing programme, self help advice and guidance and support around mental ill health. Swindon Mind also runs the Swindon Mindful Employer Network (SMEN) in partnership with Business West. SMEN gives businesses across the town free events and resources to support the wellbeing of their staff.
Swindon Mind can be contacted via a self-referral form on their website or by calling 01793 432031.
Ipsum run a range of interventions to promote good mental health including arts and music-based therapy and peer support. The service also runs low cost face-to-face counselling which is accessible to anyone living in Swindon.
Ipsum can be contacted by calling 01793 695 405 or for more information please visit their website.
There is a range of other support for emotional and mental health in Swindon including green space therapy run by Twigs and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Ipsum also have general advice and support sites for adults, children and general information on mental health.
Lift Psychology, provided by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, has a dedicated Employment Support Team. The Employment Advisors are trained to provide support and advice for anyone not in work, facing redundancy, trying to get back into work, or experiencing stress in the workplace.
Lift Psychology also offers a range of support for anyone experiencing a variety of issues, from stress to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. This includes psycho-educational courses and one-to-one interventions, depending on your needs.
Swindon Carers Centre
For those with caring responsibilities, loss of income can cause extra challenges. Swindon Carers Centre (SCC) offers a range of services to help carers living in Swindon. Depending on need, this includes: support around welfare and benefits, funding for respite opportunities, emotional support and practical support. SCC also works with employers to make workplaces more carer-friendly to support unpaid carers to continue in employment where possible.
To find out more please contact 01793 531133 or visit their website.
We know that sometimes organisations do not have the financial resources to support this transition, so a very simple step all employers can do is signpost their staff to the services above and encourage them to access support early on into any redundancy process. Another important aspect is ensuring the staff member is given the correct ending to their employment. Some employees would value recognition for their contribution to the organisation and it is important to have closure as this supports good mental health.