Remploy, the UK’s leading provider of specialist employment services, has secured a two-year extension to its contract to deliver a Government-funded mental health in work support service.
Beth Carruthers, Remploy’s chief executive said: “I am delighted that the Department for Work and Pensions has asked us to deliver this vital service for another two years.
“Since we launched WMHSS in December 2011 more than 1,700 people who were at risk of losing their jobs because of their mental health conditions have successfully completed the programme and are still in work – an outstanding 93% success rate.
“I’m hugely encouraged by this achievement and by a significant increase in referrals over recent months. The service is becoming more well-known and its success stories are a big factor in that.”
WMHSS, which is part of the Government’s Access to Work scheme, provides six months’ work based support to enable individuals with mental health conditions to retain their employment. The support may involve assistance developing work based coping strategies or identifying reasonable adjustments, education and guidance for managers and signposting to additional mental health support and resources. It is impartial and confidential, comes at no cost to either employer or employee, can be delivered with or without the support of the employer and is delivered by experts who understand mental health and its impact in the workplace.
“WMHSS is proving crucial in helping employees manage their condition at work and stay well and productive,” added Ms Carruthers. “It also helps employers create an inclusive and diverse workforce and aids the UK economy by reducing absence and turnover.”
In July the Department for Work and Pensions launched a commercial process under which Remploy Employment Services would leave government ownership by March 2015.
The Government envisages that the commercial process will create a Joint Venture between a partner or investor and Remploy Employment Services staff operating as a social business in the private sector.
- 15.2 million days of sickness absence across the UK in 2013 were caused by stress, anxiety or depression (source: Office for National Statistics)
- Mental ill health costs the UK economy £70 billion per year, or 4.5% of the country’s gross domestic product (source: OECD)
- In the last five years Remploy has found more than 80,000 jobs in mainstream employment for people with a range of physical, sensory and mental disabilities and other disadvantages.
- Remploy partners with more than 2,500 of the country’s biggest employers including Marks & Spencer, BT, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s and the NHS
- Remploy has an increasing focus on providing specialist disability employment services to people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities
- It has a successful specialist service which supports ex-service personnel who have left the forces with disabilities or health conditions
- It continues to invest in developing innovative approaches and services for employers which are cost effective and business efficient including consultancy and a vocational rehabilitation service