Home Coronavirus Construction charity looks to fill “evidence gap” on contractor mental health

Construction charity looks to fill “evidence gap” on contractor mental health

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Mates in Mind, a charity working in the UK construction sector, will look to fill in the “evidence gap” surrounding the mental health of self-employed construction workers after receiving a £25,000 grant from finance firm B&CE’s Charitable Trust2.

Using the funding, Mates in Mind will work alongside the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) to research the mental health of self-employed construction workers and those working for micro-businesses in the sector. It is thought that the COVID-19 pandemic will have worsened the existing pressures impacting the mental health of these estimated one million tradespeople.

Mates in Mind and IES will develop a questionnaire to gauge the mental health of self-employed construction workers and begin a qualitative research programme using selected participants. This will be followed by the publication of a report detailing the extent of the problem and suggesting how it may be addressed.

The organisations hope that at least one support tool for self-employed workers in the construction sector will be developed as a result of the report.

Mates in Mind managing director James Rudoni said: “We can’t yet say what issues the self-employed face as we don’t know a lot about them because there is little existing research and they are hard to reach. They are time poor, on a low income and they don’t have access to the support infrastructure that those working for larger organisations have.”

IES Head of HR Research Development Stephen Bevan added: “This will help us fill in an evidence gap, as we have made lots of educated guesses about what the issues are and the truth is that we don’t know. If you want to move the dial and want Government to take you seriously then you need to give them evidence. This is the first step in getting them to take this seriously.”

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