Working To Wellbeing, the return-to-work rehabilitation specialist, has today launched a new Line Manager Helpline, with an initial focus on supporting employees suffering with Long Covid.
The telephone-based Helpline will enable line managers to talk through their concerns and worries and get some guidance on how to help team members who may be experiencing the wide-ranging symptoms of Long Covid. In the UK there is an estimated 1.3 million sufferers of Long Covid1, with 64% reporting that their symptoms affect their daily activities, while 20% said it limited their daily activities “a lot”. Given that the average age of someone with Long Covid is between 35 and 69 (working age), there are likely many line managers and employers with employees who are suffering and need help and support in the workplace.
Working To Wellbeing’s team of expert clinicians are well-placed to help people with long-term medical conditions to remain or get back into work. Through the new Helpline, line managers will be given reliable and expert advice to provide reassurance when managing colleagues who are suffering from Long Covid.
Alongside the Helpline is a webinar for all line managers and the wider workforce to explain the purpose of the service and address some of the initial queries, which the vocational rehabilitation experts expect to range from, what a return-to-work programme might look like, to what reasonable adjustments would be helpful for colleagues, to what the main symptoms to be looking out for are, and how to best support a colleague should they come back to work, either remotely or back in the workplace.
Dr Julie Denning, managing director and chartered health psychologist at Working To Wellbeing said: “We want to minimise the considerable burden that sits now upon a line manager’s shoulders and give them the personalised support they need. We believe this specialist service is a one-of-a-kind for line managers and seeks to meet the recent draft guideline from NICE which emphasises the importance in upskilling line managers in talking about mental health so they feel supported and skilled to perform their line management duties. We agree and believe the same thinking should be applied to physical health conditions too, like Long Covid.”
“Particularly when it comes to Long Covid, there are many resources and evolving information sources to navigate; we want to cut out the noise and provide tailored, individualised guidance instead for line managers to enable them to do their job as best and efficiently as they can. Our expertise lies in designing return to work plans that are flexible and sustainable and we have significant experience to draw upon to advise line managers when it comes to supporting colleagues with long term health issues.”
Working To Wellbeing’s programmes have supported people back into the workplace since 2012, and its goal has been to help as many people as possible to be in work and thrive. Working closely with line managers, it believes that work is part of the rehabilitation process and has it central to its thinking on the rehabilitation programmes.
The new Line Manager Helpline is available to new and existing clients and is easily accessible. Working To Wellbeing can support and offer fixed or bespoke solutions to both large companies and SMEs.
Working To Wellbeing recently launched its award-winning, personalised Long Covid work support service, integrating physical and psychological expertise, with a specific focus on return to function and return to work. The vocational rehabilitation experts also help employers make better use of any existing employee benefits and services an employee might have access to, where relevant – for Long Covid or any long-term condition – with a view to improving efficiencies and reducing wellbeing inequalities.
Denning continued: “Long Covid, which can be a long-term condition, now affects many people in the UK and we urge employers to provide support to their employees as early as possible to help improve the effectiveness of interventions and minimise the chances of long-term absence or presenteeism.
“Over the last year, we have worked with hundreds of people with Long Covid and have successfully supported people to return to function, have improved their quality of life, and helped them return to work. At Working To Wellbeing we apply our knowledge of working with other long-term conditions to support people as best we can and are unique in providing a fully integrated service including employer support and have been delivering on a remote basis for almost a decade.”
For more information, or to sign up to the Helpline, visit www.working2wellbeing.com
or contact 0330 0552903.