JTI (Japan Tobacco International), the UK’s leading tobacco manufacturer[1], has been awarded Gold by UK mental health charity, Mind, for ‘achieving excellence’ in workplace wellbeing. This accolade shows that JTI has successfully embedded mental health practices into its policies, programmes and culture, demonstrating a long-term, in-depth commitment to mental wellbeing for its employees.

Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index is the first benchmark dedicated to workplace mental health in which a comprehensive assessment is undertaken to gain employee feedback on how well their organisation supports their mental health. The Index then provides key recommendations on specific areas where there is room for improvement while celebrating the work employers are carrying out to promote and support positive mental health for its employees. This year, Mind included an additional section on the survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 within organisations as this was a challenge that all companies had to react to and overcome.

In the latest 2020/21 Index, Mind surveyed more than 42,000 employees across 114 employers. Of the 114 organisations that participated, JTI ranked 9th overall, scoring higher than average in all areas with over 200 employees taking part in the survey. Of the 27 Gold Awards which were issued this year, JTI is the only tobacco company in the UK to be awarded Gold, marking its continued recognition from Mind since JTI were awarded Bronze in the 2018/19 Index. A key finding from the survey demonstrates that JTI is a strong advocate of mental wellbeing as 90% of colleagues feel the organisation encourages openness and discussion about mental health in the workplace.

JTI have curated a successful mental health programme through a range of initiatives, which includes bespoke mental health training for Line Managers to help them better understand mental health, the signs of when someone is struggling and the support available. Furthermore, JTI have launched “Wellbeing Passports”, an employee-led document, which is designed to support discussions between the individual and their Line Manager about how JTI can support them at work. There are also 37 voluntary trained Mental Health First Aiders who are a point of contact for anyone who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress. The company continues to engage with its employees through webinars, an ongoing calendar of wellbeing events and a Wellbeing Dashboard to tailor the support offered to individuals.

Commenting on the award, Dean Gilfillan, JTI UK’s General Manager, said: “We are extremely proud to receive Gold in Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index as it demonstrates our commitment to our people and their mental wellbeing.

Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “As we would expect, the impact of coronavirus on the mental health of staff is a resounding theme in this year’s Index results. However, it has been heartening to see how many employers have supported the mental health of their people in this particularly challenging year, and these awards provide a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate those forward-thinking employers who are dedicated to investing in the wellbeing of their staff.”

[1] IRi Market Place, Volume Share, Total Tobacco Category, Total UK, YTD July 2021

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