SMS Zaqy Mohamad: Employers and Employees Must Share Responsibility for Workplace Mental Well-Being

The Senior Minister of State for Manpower made the call at the launch of the inaugural Workplace Mental Well-being Campaign, spearheaded by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council.
By Ian Tan Hanhonn 10 Dec 2021

Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad hopes that more people will realise that dealing with workplace mental well-being is a shared responsibility between employer and employee.

Mr Zaqy was speaking at the launch of the inaugural Workplace Mental Well-being Campaign on 9 December 2021.

“Employees should surface issues to their employers, and employers should support their employees, because work can be good for mental well-being, and mental well-being is good for work.

“Work is not only about stress that harms mental well-being. Work is also a source of purpose, achievement and camaraderie, that is positive for mental well-being,” he said.

About the Campaign

The Workplace Mental Well-being Campaign 2021, spearheaded by the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council, aims to create greater awareness while encouraging co-ownership of mental well-being between employers and employees.

At the ceremony, Mr Zaqy unveiled a mental well-being playbook. The playbook is the product of a collaboration between senior and master professionals from the Institute of Human Resource Professionals (IHRP), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), and the WSH Council.

The playbook features easy and practical guides on how to implement workplace mental well-being initiatives.

Mr Zaqy also introduced a new CARE Award to formally recognise companies that have made progress in their mental well-being efforts, as well as to highlight them as employers of choice.

“The CARE Award, which stands for Culture of Acceptance, Respect and Empathy Award, will start accepting applications in January 2022, together with the applications to the other WSH Awards, with winners announced in July 2022,” he said.

The WSH Council will announce the CARE Award’s eligibility criteria in January 2022.

The Labour Movement Responds

NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Melvin Yong said he was heartened that the WSH Council has launched the campaign to encourage employees and employers to take time to care for their mental health.

Taking to Facebook, he said that the new initiatives announced, along with the programmes that NTUC has rolled out, provide a comprehensive suite of tools that employers and workers can tap on to achieve better mental well-being at the workplace.

Mr Yong shared: “In particular, I applaud the move to create a new Care Award, which is the first time that the WSH Awards will have a dedicated category for workplace mental health.

“This is a direct result of NTUC’s behind-the-scenes lobbying for a dedicated award to showcase exemplary workplace mental health practices. I hope that award will encourage more companies to learn from the best-in-class and implement their own workplace mental wellness initiatives.”

He also agreed with Mr Zaqy’s comments that investing in the mental well-being of workers was not only beneficial for workers, but for businesses as well.

“Let us do our part to safeguard the mental well-being of our workers by allowing them to disconnect after work, so that we can all be well rested and be productive for the next work day,” added Mr Yong.