Improvements to our website

We have made changes to our website to improve the way it looks and to give residents a better experience. You can find out more about this update here. 

Help and support

Group Support for staff that have experienced racism

This free webinar is available through My Learning Source for all our Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority staff, to help provide support for the personal impact of racism, space to talk about your life experiences of racism inside or outside of work, discover and share coping strategies, learn about the support available and where to get help.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Help, the council’s EAP are very saddened to have seen the coverage of George Floyd’s death and can appreciate that this raises many troubling questions and emotions.  Help encourage those impacted to make use of the EAP to talk this through in confidence. 

You can get confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the council’s new Employee Assistance Programme. You have access to a team of trained wellbeing and counselling practitioners who offer support to all employees on a wide range of issues, including work, home life, legal issues, caring, debt and health and wellbeing. They offer confidential, independent and unbiased information and guidance by telephone, in writing, online and through face-to-face appointments. Contact them on 0800 756 3354 or by visiting the Optimise health website.

Able Futures

This is a free, confidential mental health support service available to all employed staff to help with low to moderate stress, depression and other mental health issues. They will listen to you to understand any difficulties you are experiencing and create an individual plan of support. Support is available over the phone, through email and face-to-face meetings call 0800 321 3137 (8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday)

Health and Wellbeing Plan and Toolkit

The Wellbeing Plan outlines our actions and priorities on staff health and wellbeing, as well as our proposed activities for the next few months. The Toolkit contains lots of information and resources with advice, tips and tools to help with maintaining optimal wellbeing in the workplace.

Mental Health First Aiders

Mental Health First Aiders are members of staff who have been trained to respond to people in mental and emotional distress. They are available during working hours to assist you and are able to offer support, reassurance and signposting to reputable national charities and services. You can find a list of Mental Health First Aiders on noticeboards in your workplace.

Optima Health - Occupational health provider

Occupational health is a specialist branch of medicine focussing on health in the workplace. It is concerned with the physical and mental well-being of employees.  If you feel you would benefit from a referral to occupational health, please raise this with your manager or your manager’s manager.

Stress Awareness e-learning on My Learning Source

This module is designed to give you an overview of stress awareness at work. We will explain why stress occurs and how it can manifest itself physically and psychologically, and offer practical hints and tips on how to cope with the ever-increasing demands of the modern workplace.

Mental Health Awareness on My Learning Source

In this e-learning module, you will learn what mental health issues are. You will also learn about the different types of illnesses and how you can support someone with mental health issues by being empathetic.

Personal Resilience on My Learning Source

Personal resilience is an important quality for helping you to adapt and develop effective coping strategies to stressful working conditions and improve wellbeing. This module is designed to help you to think about and develop your own resilience.

Equality and diversity

The council has a clear commitment to equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination in all its services including employment. In December 2011 Cabinet agreed the council's revised approach to equality . This recognises that the diversity of our population and our workforce is a strength; valuing the differences between people and the ways that those differences can contribute to a richer, creative and more productive work environment.

There is a large body of legislation and regulation which provides a range of individual protections including the Equality Act, the Part-time Workers Regulations, Rehabilitation of Offenders etc. All HR procedures have been written to reflect an employer's statutory responsibility on equal opportunities and the council's commitment to managing diversity. This includes the Respect at Work Policy which aims to address individual issues were they arise.

Southwark is committed to supporting staff groups and has a set of protocols for providing support, so that our approach is clear and transparent to all staff.

Respect at Work

Everyone has a right to feel respected and valued at work, and to be confident in raising issues when they need to. Our Respect at Work policy (PDF, 73kb) is an updated version of the previous harassment policy. It sets out clear standards and expectations for staff to enjoy a respectful working environment.

The policy applies to all staff and aims to raise awareness of the many forms of harassment at work. It includes a Statement of Intent and a procedure to follow if things go wrong.

Workplace mediation

There are a number of options to seek resolution, including workplace mediation. The mediation service is independent so it provides a safe and confidential place to discuss sensitive issues. It can be used to repair relationships, encourage positive behaviour and improve team work. It provides an early intervention to resolve issues quickly before they escalate.

For more information contact Dave Walker (Southwark mediation centre coordinator) 020 708 4959 or 07932 762 001.


If you have a concern about something that is happening at work which you think could be unlawful conduct, bribery or financial malpractice or practices that are dangerous to the public or environment, it is important that you know what you can bring to the council's attention.

It is also important that if you decide to say something you know the appropriate action to take. You should refer to the council's whistleblowing policy (PDF, 308kb) for guidance.

For more information about the whistleblowing policy, contact Norman Coombe 020 7525 7678.

Page last updated: 04 February 2021


Privacy settings