World Mental Health Day: Usdaw survey finds that financial worries are having an impact on the mental health of 63% of workers

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Shopworkers’ trade union leader Paddy Lillis is marking this year’s World Mental Health Day, today, by celebrating the role of trade union workplace reps in supporting members experiencing mental health problems.
An Usdaw survey of over 10,000 workers has laid bare the issues that working people are facing as a result of low pay, short and zero hours contracts and insecure work. 92% have seen no improvement in their financial situation over the past five years. 63% say that financial worries were having an impact on their mental health.
 
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “Mental health is a trade union issue. Cuts to in-work benefits; rising living costs; wages falling in value; shorter working hours; redundancies, along with industry­wide cuts to budgets and staffing levels have left members feeling overstretched, overworked and undervalued.
 
“Our survey results are shocking, which is why we have launched the ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign, to tackle these deep-seated problems so many workers are facing. Usdaw is also training and resourcing our reps to help members who are struggling to cope and they are doing a great job.
 
“Usdaw reps are running campaign awareness days in their workplaces to tackle the stigma that surrounds mental health. Stigma gets in the way of members talking to the union at an early stage and this can lead to them getting caught up in disciplinary procedures that could and should have been avoided.
 
World Mental Health Day is an important annual event highlighting how common mental health problems are across the globe, shining a light on an everyday issue. Usdaw supports the work of mental health charities and organisations and salutes our lay-reps for all they do to help members deal with issues in the workplace.
 
Usdaw’s ‘It’s good to talk’ campaign provides the union’s workplace reps with advice and resources to support members experiencing a common mental health problem such as depression or anxiety. For more information: www.usdaw.org.uk/Help-Advice/Health-Wellbeing/Mental-Health
 
Usdaw’s ‘Time for Better Pay’ campaign tackles the causes of in-work poverty and seeks to develop an economy where work pays. Using the evidence gathered through our extensive research, the campaign is calling for four key actions:
  • £10 per hour minimum wage for all workers over 18.
  • Minimum contract of 16 hours per week for all employees who want it
  • The right to a contract based on an individual’s normal hours of work
  • An end to the misuse of zero hour contracts.
For more information: https://www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Time-4-Better-Pay
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 430,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 28% over the decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
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