Author Archive

How stressed was Business Expo?

expo-2016We had a great day manning our stand in the Wellbeing Zone at Hereford and Worcester Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo on 6th October.   As part of our work promoting good mental health at work, we invited visitors to our stand to complete a short questionnaire designed to gauge the levels of stress they were experiencing in their daily lives.  The results are shown below:


The good news is that over half (55%) of those who completed the questionnaire came out with low or moderately-low levels of stress.  It was no surprise that around half of those with the lowest stress levels were retired.  What did surprise us were a couple of individuals with quite stressful jobs, e.g events management and social work, who had very low levels of stress.  It goes to show some of us are just more chilled and stress-resilient than others.  

At the other end of the scale, 18% of the visitors came out with high or very-high stress levels.   When we talked to these people about their stress we found that around half of them were experiencing some form of personal trauma , e.g. a recent bereavement.   In the others their stress was more long-term and work-related. 

Most of us can cope with elevated levels of stress for reasonable periods of time, e.g. a month or two, without any adverse effects.  However, stress becomes unsafe when it is long-term or when it starts to impact on our daily lives.  Long-term stress can result in a range of emotional, physical and behavioural symptoms, including:  moodiness and irritability, aches and pains and frequent minor ailments, and insomnia and increased use of alcohol.  It is important that employers take steps to ensure their employees and are not subject to unreasonable levels of stress, not least because they have a legal duty of care.  It is also in the employer’s interest to address the issue: stress is a major cause of sickness absence and when an employee is signed off with stress it is likely to be for an extended period -the average is 23 days.  Long-term stress can also lead to other conditions such as anxiety and depression, and eventually burn-out. So, prevention is most definitely better than cure.

Enable Works Ltd provides training to help employers and employees manage stress.

Mental Health Awareness for Managers course

In November we are running a one-day Mental Health Awareness for Managers course.

Date: 29 November 2016
Venue: National Star College, Ullenwood, Cheltenham, GL53 9QU
Cost £190

Mental Health for Managers trianing course image.Mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety and depression, are on of the most significant causes of sickness absence.  Managers and supervisors have an important part to play in addressing this issue – their behaviour has a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of their staff and they are likely to be the first people to be involved when problems arise.

This course equips managers and supervisors with the knowledge, skills and awareness they need need to better manage mental health in the work place and support staff who are experiencing mental health problems.

The  course covers:

  • The costs of poor mental health at  work.
  • Overcoming the stigma of mental health.
  • The common mental health conditions – what it is like to experience them, their symptoms and treatment.
  • Mental health at work and the law.
  • What makes for good mental health at work.
  • How to talk to staff about their mental health.
  • Real-life case studies.

Who should attend:  Managers and supervisors with responsibility for staff, HR professionals.

To book you place online click here or call us on 01386 839427.

We can also run this as in in-house course course, please call for more information.


Declaring your disabilities on job applications.

Declaring disabilities on job applications.

 10 Reasons Why You Should Declare Your Disabilities on Job Applications & 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t.

career coaching

Here are the reasons why you SHOULD declare your disability on job applications:

  1. Employment is covered by the Disability Discrimination Act and Equality Act. This means it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against people with disabilities in their recruitment and selection procedures.
  1. If you declare and then subsequently feel that you have been discriminated against then you can take a claim to an employment tribunal. A company cannot reject you because you are disabled if a reasonable adjustment can be made to accommodate you.
  1. If you declare your disability in your applications you will have more control over the way that you project it. You can give your disability positive spin. I’ I have a physical disability and I coach a Paralympic swimming team” or “Because of my hearing impairment I have an enhanced ability to concentrate which in turn has developed my ability to perform complex tasks such as entering and analysing data on spread sheets”.
  1. If you don’t make accurate declarations of your disability on a health questionnaire the employer may have grounds to subsequently dismiss you.
  1. If your disabilities have any health and safety implications for you or other employees, you are legally obliged to tell your employer.
  1. You will give your self the opportunity to discuss with the employer, the possibility of reasonable adjustments and the support you can get from access to work to make those adjustments.
  1. Disclosure will generate an open and trustful relationship between you and your prospective employer where you communicate well and openly.
  1. You will be able from the outset to deal with misconceptions about your disabilities.
  1. If your employer is aware of your disabilities they will be more able to be responsive to your needs particularly if there is an emergency or a crisis.
  1. If your disabilities has an impact upon you work this will not be misinterpreted as a performance issue.

Here are the reasons why you SHOULDN’T disclose your disabilities on your job applications.

  1. You might feel uncomfortable disclosing and then having to discuss your disabilities with a stranger.
  1. Your disabilities will have no impact on your ability to the job and no reasonable adjustments will need to be made for you.
  1. You feel that you may be discriminated against.

If you are still not sure? Talk through you decision with your career coach or someone you trust




Vocational Rehabilitation, the case for the Independent-provider

Vocational rehabilitation the case for an independent provider like Enable Works Ltd.

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When the health condition or disability arises out of the workplace through injury or other circumstances beyond the control of the employee. The employee when returning following a period of absence may lack trust and confidence in their employer and in any employer-based services designed to help them.  For these reasons they will have more confidence in and are therefore more likely to engage with an independent provider.

The vocational rehabilitation provider is more likely to be perceived as unbiased. They can then be an effective mediator for between the employee and the employer.  This will encourage effective and focused dialogue and in turn a successful return to work plan. 


The vocational rehabilitation independent provider can provide completely unbiased assessments including ‘functional capacity assessments’ which have built in reliability testing (validated tests, consistency tests and distraction tests) so they cannot be biased in favor of the employee or the employer. 

The vocational rehabilitation provider can provide creative and realistic reasonable adjustment advice. This is  based on specialist experience and expertise. They can also provide rehabilitation interventions, preparing individuals for their return to work. They can also in consultation with employers, design and monitor return to work schedules.


Reasonable Adjustment advice for Employers

blog image 2 Reasonable adjustment advice for employers

The overall aim as an employer of making reasonable adjustments for disabled workers should be to as far as possible, to remove or reduce any disadvantage faced by a disabled worker. 

In cases of ‘reasonable adjustment’ it is acceptable to treat disabled people better or ‘more favourably’ than non-disabled people and sometimes this may be part of the solution:


1:How effective is the adjustment you are considering going to be in compensating for the disadvantage experienced by the disabled worker?

The adjustment should make a difference and enable the worker to be effective in their role for you. It should go some way or all of the way towards reducing the disadvantage experienced by the disabled worker. It may be necessary to make more than one adjustment, but together all of the adjustments should be effective in reducing the disadvantage for the disabled worker.

2: How practical is the reasonable adjustment for you to implement the change?

The easier an adjustment is, the more likely it is to be reasonable. However, just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it can’t also be reasonable. You need to balance this against other factors. 

3: How much is the reasonable adjustment going to cost?

If an adjustment costs little or nothing and is not disruptive, it would be reasonable unless some other factor (such as impracticality or lack of effectiveness) made it unreasonable.

4: Does your organisation have the resources and the finances to make the reasonable adjustment?

If an adjustment costs a significant amount, it is more likely to be reasonable for you to make it if you have substantial financial resources at your disposal. Your resources must be looked at across your whole organisation, not just for the branch or section where the disabled person is or would be working. This is an issue which you have to balance against the other factors within the business.