Brexit related stress and anxiety causes 23 per cent increase in support calls.

Suspension causes stress.

A survey from Health Assured has revealed the number of people calling for support on their EAP (employee assistance programme) helpline for Brexit related stress and anxiety shot up 23 per cent on the day government requested to suspend parliament.

Regardless of political opinion, it’s not difficult to see why lots of people are stressed and anxious about the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit with experts warning a no deal Brexit could dramatically impact food prices and some medicine could be in short supply.

David Price, CEO and wellbeing expert at Health Assured issued some advice on how employers can reassure and support their staff.


1: Offer support and advice

Let your employees know that you share their uncertainty. Don’t phrase this in such a way that it sounds like you’re as nervous as they are — but empathise, listen, and support. Speaking honestly and openly about the future of your company will help. If they hear from you that your company is ready and able to face the world outside the EU, they’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Some larger companies retain the services of a specialist immigration lawyer for their EU national workers, to be used free of charge. Depending on the size of your workforce, this could help to retain your best talent.


2: Suggest counselling

An uncertain future leads to dreadful anxiety. The Existential Academy, in a fine charitable act, are offering up to six sessions with a qualified counsellor for any EU nationals living and working in the UK. Put your employees in touch with them — the support will be welcome. If you have an EAP in place, direct your employees to the counselling provided. Even if they don’t take up the offer, the mere fact that it’s there can provide reassurance for many.


3: Keep an open forum and an open mind

Tensions can run high whenever politics are mentioned in the office. But with such a huge, important event as Brexit looming, people are going to want to talk about it. Don’t discourage conversation. But be sure to set out guidelines — respect each other’s opinion and position, and don’t allow discussions to become arguments. Keep these brief suggestions in mind, and hopefully, your office can sail harmoniously into the future — whether we stay in the EU, or not.

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