Reporting on the mental health of employees: a normative framework
Wilkinson, John Jude
Mental health is a pervasive problem in our current society. Mental health is influenced by stress, much of which derives from the workplace. In this way, organisations impact the mental health of their employees. Organisations are also impacted by employee mental health through the performance and productivity of employees. By preserving and supporting the mental health of their employees, organisations create value through human, intellectual, financial and social capital. There is currently no formal guidance on how organisations should address and report on employee mental health. This study serves as the first of its kind to address this issue through the development of a normative framework for employee mental health reporting. The study samples the integrated reports of the JSE Top 40 companies from 2017 to 2019 to identify aspects of mental health that are currently considered in the disclosures provided by these organisations. These disclosures are aggregated and categorised according to the pre-determined elements of the proposed framework. The current reporting practices on employee mental health are expanded to develop a comprehensive reporting model with practical recommendations. The model serves to guide organisations on how to report on their efforts to identify and address the mental health issues faced by their employees. The study contributed towards the limited body of knowledge about reporting on social issues and has implications for the performance of organisations and mental health awareness.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for a Degree of Master of Commerce in Accounting to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, School of Economics and Finance at the University of the Witwatersrand, 2022