The mortgage industry has come together to launch a mental health charter, providing a framework for firms looking to support their staff’s mental health.
The charter’s founding members include three brokers Coreco, Chartwell Mortgage Services, and The Brightstar Group, as well as distributor Crystal Specialist Finance, buy-to-let lender Landbay, software provider Knowledge Bank and mortgage club SimplyBiz Mortgages.
The non-profit has based its framework on the recommendations from a report published by the government back in 2017, called ‘Thriving at Work’.
Otherwise known as the The Stevenson and Farmer review, the report’s 10-year ‘vision’ set out to equip employers with the awareness and tools to prevent mental ill health “caused or worsened by work”.
The steering group behind the mortgage industry’s mental health charter has laid out six commitments:
- Developing mental health awareness among employees using activities and advocacy.
- Encouraging open conversations about mental health and the support available to employees who may be struggling.
- Providing employees with good working conditions that encourage a healthy work life balance and opportunities for development.
- Promoting effective people management through line managers and ensuring there is a focus on physical and mental wellbeing as well as performance.
- Routinely monitoring employee mental health and wellbeing through surveys and regular contact with managers.
- Establishing a named contact for mental health support.
The charter’s co-founders want to ensure all signatories - a list it claims to be growing on its website - always understand mental health and wellbeing best practice.
A review of the charter will take place annually to track how the mortgage industry is performing against “key mental health metrics”, and whether the sector “is progressing” in improving the wellbeing of its staff.
“There is a lot of work for all of us across the mortgage industry to do in order to provide more substantial support to the mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues,” said Jason Berry, group sales and marketing director at Crystal Specialist Finance.
“The pandemic has thrown the importance of our mental health into sharp focus, and I’m certain that the charter will give businesses across the sector a helping hand in delivering best practice.”
Rob Jupp, group chief executive at The Brightstar Group, added: "We all have mental health and we are all vulnerable to suffering poor mental health, which can often be debilitating and isolating.
“I’m so pleased that this mental health charter for the mortgage industry has gotten off the ground. [...] We can all do more to help our friends, colleagues, family and ourselves when it comes to mental health and the charter will help us to do that."