We recognises the benefits and impact that wellbeing has on employees and ultimately on service delivery.

This policy outlines Falkirk Council's commitment to the health and wellbeing of its employees. It supports efforts to improve employee health and wellbeing both at work and in home life.

We recognise that wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy and can be influenced by:

  • Career and work factors
  • Emotional factors
  • Financial factors
  • Health factors
  • Social factors

Whilst these factors are both work and non-work related, we will create a workplace that supports our employees in achieving their own wellbeing.

Mental health is a critical part of our employees wellbeing and is defined by the World Health Organisation as:

as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

We recognise the emerging need to create a work environment where the mental health of our employees is supported and issues around mental health are managed in a mature and supportive way. We know that our employee’s mental health doesn’t stay the same and that it can be affected by a number of things through their life.

This policy applies to all Falkirk Council employees.


    Wellbeing Policy Statement

    We are committed to providing a positive work environment for our employees and promoting their health and wellbeing. We value the strategic importance and benefits of a healthy workplace. We will:

    • Work to reduce and remove the stigma associated with mental health in the workplace
    • Build and maintain a workplace environment and culture that supports positive health and wellbeing, as well as, healthy lifestyle choices
    • Increase employee knowledge and awareness of health and wellbeing issues and healthy lifestyle choices
    • Facilitate employee active participation in initiatives that support health and wellbeing
    • Ensure that the health and wellbeing of our employees is considered in all relevant Council policies and decisions
    • Ensure all managers in the Council are committed to the health and wellbeing of our workforce and act as good role models
    • Improve workforce productivity by committing to the health and wellbeing of our employees.
    • Encourage a supportive workplace culture to facilitate early intervention and prevention
    • Provide support to our line managers to support and improve wellbeing within the workplace

    Roles & responsibilities

    Senior Leadership

    The senior leadership of the Council includes the Chief Executive, Service Directors, Chief Officers and Heads of Service. These officers will provide consistent leadership ensuring the Council actively supports a positive approach to employee health and wellbeing. They will:

    • Act as a role model for positive leadership and proactively challenge behaviour and actions that may adversely affect employee health and wellbeing
    • Provide consistent and positive leadership to actively support the implementation of health and wellbeing initiatives
    • Encourage and promote Anytime Anywhere working to help improve employees’ work life balance
    • Ensure employees know how to access support services provided by the Council
    • Support line managers in implementing health and wellbeing initiatives and ensure they have adequate time, resources and training to balance the aims of the Council and employees’ health and wellbeing
    • Ensure line managers are aware that supporting health and wellbeing initiatives is a central part of their role
    • Appoint a wellbeing champion for the Council
    • Attend relevant training and ensure line managers also participate to ensure increased knowledge and support to employees
    • Ensure the Health & Safety Executive’s management standards are applied to work design within their Services
    • Support the Council’s Wellbeing group and the delivery of the Council’s Wellbeing Strategy

    Line Managers

    Line managers include Service Unit Manages, Headteachers, Supervisors, Depute Headteachers and Principal teachers and anyone with direct line management responsibilities. Line managers have an important role to play in protecting and improving the health and wellbeing through job design, person specifications and performance reviews as follows:

    • Facilitate communication between employees and senior leadership on health and wellbeing matters
    • Consider and communicate the impact of changes within the workplace on employees’ health and wellbeing to senior leadership
    • Encourage employees to contribute to developing new ways of working to improve health and wellbeing
    • Become role models who are trusted and respected by employees
    • Foster a positive work environment
    • Work with employees to identify and address issues affecting their health, wellbeing and ability to do their job ensuring employees know how to access support services provided by the Council
    • Implement and support health and wellbeing initiatives where possible with the aim of improving employees’ health and wellbeing
    • Balance the needs of both Council and the individual when dealing with requests for flexible working arrangements
    • Implement Anytime Anywhere working and where possible be flexible about work scheduling and provide employees with control and flexibility over their own time
    • Design jobs and monitor the impact of work pressures on employees to promote and improve the physical and mental health of employees
    • Apply the Health & Safety Executive’s management standards to job design within their area
    • Attend relevant training to increase knowledge on wellbeing and improve support to employees

    Employees

    All of our employees have a vital role to play in helping the Council to improve their health and wellbeing. They will:

    • Engage and communicate with line managers to improve both their and others health and wellbeing within the workplace
    • Take personal responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and address any concerns with their line manager
    • Self report if they are experiencing undue or excessive work pressures to their line manager
    • Attend and undertake relevant training as directed by their line manager

    Health, Safety & Wellbeing Team

    The Health, Safety & Wellbeing team has direct responsibility for health promotion within the Council. They will:

    • Maintain the Council’s Gold Healthy Working Lives award
    • Provide a chairperson for the Wellbeing Group
    • Promote health and wellbeing across the Council
    • Consider and advise on new health and wellbeing initiatives
    • Monitor the effectiveness of health and wellbeing initiatives
    • Contribute to areas of the Community Planning Partnerships related to workplace health and wellbeing issues
    • Support Services in conducting large group Stress Risk Assessments
    • Maintain the Council’s Mental Health First Aider network

    Wellbeing Group

    The Wellbeing Group is made up of representatives from across the Council including senior leadership, line managers, employees and trade unions. The group will:

    • Communicate with Services and employees on upcoming health and wellbeing initiatives
    • Allow Services and employees to feedback about health and wellbeing issues they want to see addressed by health promotion campaigns
    • Consider health and wellbeing initiatives for implementation across the Council
    • Contribute to and assist the Health, Safety & Wellbeing team in delivering the Council’s action plan for their Gold Health Working Lives Award
    • Promote health and wellbeing activities within their Services

    Mental Health First Aiders

    Mental Health First Aiders are an important part of the Wellbeing strategy. They provide a direct point of contact for employees who are experiencing emotional distress or a mental health issue. Mental health first aiders are only expected to operate within the scope of their training. They will:

    • Act as a first point of contact and support for employees
    • Give advice to employees on where to access appropriate support services
    • Direct employees to the Council’s counselling service where appropriate
    • Encourage individuals to access appropriate professional support or self help strategies.
    • Take a break or step down from the role when necessary to support their own wellbeing
    • Maintain the confidentially of individuals who approach them for advice

    This policy is effective from December 2019.