Acas regional conference to focus on health and mental wellbeing at work

Professor Dame Carol Black, an expert adviser on health and work for the Department of Health, who w

Professor Dame Carol Black, an expert adviser on health and work for the Department of Health, who will be key note speaker at the Acas regional conference being held in Newmarket on February 23, 2015. - Credit: Archant

Health and mental wellbeing will be the subject of the annual regional conference of Acas, the workplace advice and conciliation service, which takes place in Newmarket next month.

The event, entitled “Mind the gap: changing perceptions and managing the challenges of health & mental wellbeing at work”, is being held at Tattersalls on February 23 and will be chaired by Acas chief executive Anne Sharp.

It is designed to provide local employers, HR professionals, employment lawyers, employee representatives and those with health and safety or employee wellbeing responsibilities with valuable insight into the issues surrounding health and wellbeing in the workplace, as well as useful information on the support available to East Anglian businesses from government organisations and charities.

Professor Dame Carol Black, an expert adviser on health and work for the Department of Health, will deliver the key note address.

Other speakers will include Mario Dunn, a Director of Health Management Ltd, the Government contractor for the new Health and Work Service, to be known as “Fit for Work”, and Ezra Hewing, a workplace wellbeing consultant for Suffolk Mind, working with businesses to develop wellbeing strategies to help their employees.

The programme also includes an afternoon of master-classes from local experts familiar with the challenges facing East Anglian businesses. They include:

: : Managing Mental Health in the Workplace – an interactive session on management strategies and the promotion of positive practice around mental health in the workplace with Neil Wood, health improvement manager, Public Health England, and Karen French and Marina Glasgow, Acas senior advisers;

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: : Legal considerations and reasonable adjustments –with Sallie Davies, a practicing employment law solicitor working for Tackling Discrimination in the east.

: : Access to work and employer support – what services are available and how to access them with Neil Nineham, partnership manager, Jobentre Plus; and

: : What should a Workplace Wellbeing strategy look like? – with Ezra Hewing.

Caroline Plummer, area director for Acas East of England, said: “Modern life, both domestically and within the workplace is becoming increasingly stressful. The efficiency gains provided by advances in technology have made it more difficult to juggle competing demands.

“Managing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace is becoming increasingly important with a growing proportion of staff expected to suffer from stress related illnesses during their employment life. A process of prevention, planning and enabling good health and wellbeing outcomes is essential, both for the welfare of employees and for managing staff costs.”

Places at the conference cost £160 including lunch. For further details or to book, visit www.acas.org.uk/MindtheGap2015 .