UK businesses to up mental health budget by 18%

Mental healthNew research has revealed that UK business leaders are predicted to increase their investment in employee mental health and wellbeing by 18% during the next year, one of the highest rates across the world.

According to Bupa Global’s Executive wellbeing index 2021, which surveyed 1,263 high net worth employees and senior executives based in the UK, USA, France, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, almost three in 10 (28%) business leaders now make employee mental health their number one priority.

In doing this, they will pay for new roles focused on supporting mental health, upskill existing HR and management-level staff, and offer paid mental health sick days and private medical insurance with mental health cover.

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The research also found that UK business leaders view flexible working patterns as the most important factor in improving employee wellbeing and are implementing this in their organisations, with two in three (63%) having already introduced flexi-working and a further 20% planning to do so in the next year.

In addition, one in five now see their CEO taking on the dual responsibility of ‘chief empathy officer’, as three in 10 British businesses already have someone doing this job, and a further 13% are planning to create the position within the next 12 months.

Sheldon Kenton, managing director of Bupa Global, commented that it is encouraging to see UK’s business leaders investing in their employees’ wellbeing with concrete spending and initiatives.

He explained that Bupa Global supports business leaders and their staff by continually investing in and updating mental health and wellbeing provision, as its Global Virtual Care proposition gives workers access to international doctors wherever they are in the world.

“We recently removed lifetime limits across our plans for in-patient and day-patient mental health treatment, and we also now include cover for ADHD, addiction and self-inflicted injuries within our plan benefits. We also provide a range of preventive health and wellbeing services, designed to enable customers, their families and employees to take a more holistic approach to their health management,” he said.