Story image

Xero champions mental health awareness and support in the workplace

10 Oct 2018

Today marks World Mental Health Day and this week is Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand. They both aim to raise awareness and understanding of mental health challenges in the home and workplace, as well as encouraging stronger wellbeing.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is “let nature in, strengthen your wellbeing - Mā te taiao kia whakapakari tōu oranga”. The theme of World Mental Health Day promotes something slightly different: Young people and mental health in a changing world.

Xero is one company that is taking the importance of mental health seriously. Now its 2000-strong global workforce can now access personal leave for their wellbeing and mental health when they need it most.

The new Wellbeing Leave entitlement can cover mental or physical health, medical procedures, when a partner or dependant requires care, or purely timeout for an employee’s personal wellbeing.

Xero points out that one in five people live with mental illness, but there’s still social stigma so they rarely speak up about it.

The company says the goal with Wellbeing Leave is to give employees more resources to focus on personal wellness, and to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace.

“People come to Xero to do the best work of their lives, which is why it’s vital we support not only their physical wellbeing, but their mental wellbeing as well,” says Xero’s chief customer and people officer Rachael Powell. 

“Mental illness and poor wellbeing is something that affects many people, including small businesses; most people will encounter it in themselves or someone they love during their lifetime. We cannot afford to ignore it.”

“We hope this small step will help those who need to take time out for their personal wellbeing to do so without feeling a stigma.”

Xero is also working closely with mental health organisations across the world to support mental health causes. In Australia it is working with beyondblue, and in the UK it supports the Samaritans. 

Beyond World Mental Health Day, Xero says it has a broader commitment to champion workplace diversity, inclusion, and flexible ways of working for everyone.

“We fundamentally believe in the power of the human touch at Xero, and creating a positive inside-out culture that starts with every single Xero employee and resonates out to our partners and customers,” Powell says. 

“When we get this right, our people go from functioning to flourishing, which means that everyone inside Xero is set up to play to their strengths and do their best work. A powerful human ripple effect occurs which means we are better able to serve our broader network. Ultimately this has a positive impact by helping global small business thrive.”
 

How big data can revolutionise NZ’s hospitals
Miya Precision is being used across 17 wards and the emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand. 
Spark’s new IoT network reaches 98% of New Zealand
Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.
Robots to the fore – Key insights for New Zealand Business into RPA in 2019
From making artificial intelligence a business reality to closer ties to human colleagues, robotic process automation is gearing up for a strong 2019.
50 million tonnes of e-waste: IT faces sustainability challenges
“Through This is IT, we want to help people better understand the problem of today’s linear “take, make, dispose” thinking around IT products and its effects like e-waste, pollution and climate change."
Vocus & Vodafone unbundle NZ's fibre network
“Unbundling fibre will provide retail service providers with a flexible future-proofed platform regardless of what tomorrow brings."
IDC: A/NZ second highest APAC IoT spenders per capita
New IDC forecast expects the Internet of Things spending in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan to reach US$381.8 Billion by 2022.