Business Insight

Board Priorities 2024: Psycho-social safety

Person with hand on back of another facing group of persons in office

    Psychological safety and mental health wellbeing of staff is a critical work, health and safety risk. During 2023, Directors sought to further their understanding of how to demonstrate psychological due diligence and how to effectively govern psychosocial and mental health wellbeing risks in the workplace.

    Looking forward to 2024, Boards should capitalise on the work done so far and consider:

    1. The positive correlation that exists when their organisation demonstrates a clear understanding of psychosocial and mental health wellbeing risks with an increase in business performance and employee productivity contributing to a strong culture and employee value proposition.
    2. Continuing the governance of psychological safety and mental health wellbeing to reach parity with physical safety in both reporting and oversight.
    3. Elevating psychological safety and mental health wellbeing as a work, health and safety risk.
    4. Working more closely with management to create relevant leading and lagging indicators of employee psychological safety and mental health wellbeing that go beyond annual engagement and pulse surveys to provide proportionate, defensible and sustainable solutions. 


    Read about the other Board Priorities for 2024

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    Mr Crowley Woodford Thumbnail

    Crowley Woodford, Partner, Employment, London

    T: +44 7887 821 137

    Crowley is a partner in the London office where he leads our European employment practice. He specialises in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law with a particular emphasis on discrimination, employee disputes and workforce restructuring.

    Crowley has extensive experience in cross-border employment issues, collective labour issues, redundancies and workforce restructuring, ARD/TUPE, corporate transactions, corporate governance matters, executive arrivals and departures, whistleblowing, discrimination claims, protecting confidential information, and enforcing and resisting post-termination restrictive covenants. Crowley is also an expert in leading complex internal investigations including within a regulatory environment.

    Crowley is a member of the Japan Society of the UK. He has an extremely successful and established practice working with high-calibre Japanese clients on all UK employment issues and having spent a considerable amount of time living and working in Japan, he understands the needs of Japanese clients.

    Ms Erin Quinane Thumbnail

    Dr Erin Quinane, Director, Strategy & Sustainability, Sydney

    T: + 61 434 916 848

    Erin leads Ashurst Risk Advisory's Cognitive Endurance Programme which draws on deep global expertise across multiple disciplines including neuroscience, cognitive health, leadership, work health and safety, and data analytics to provide world-class solutions grounded in scientific evidence that improves the cognitive endurance, leadership performance, and productivity of senior executives. With over 18 years management consulting experience working across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in the field of workplace mental health. Erin works with a global group academics to advance senior executive leader cognitive endurance. Erin is a currently leading an international research study with RMIT University, Columbia University and Manchester University exploring the role of the Board to effectively govern mental health at work. This research study including interviewing 75 global board members to capture the latest insights across global organisations and provide best practice recommendations to boardrooms.

    This publication is a joint publication from Ashurst LLP and Ashurst Risk Advisory Pty Ltd, which are all part of the Ashurst Group.

    Ashurst Risk Advisory Pty Ltd services do not constitute legal services or legal advice, and are not provided by qualified legal practitioners acting in that capacity. The laws and regulations which govern the provision of legal services in the relevant jurisdiction do not apply to the provision of risk advisory (non-legal) services.

    This publication is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to. Readers should take legal advice before applying the information contained in this publication to specific issues or transactions.


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