Pilot to support mental health

Businesses across the East Midlands have been urged to boost productivity by working with the University of Derby to provide better mental health support for employees. The Mental Health and

Productivity Pilot will involve the implementation of new workplace interventions at organisations across the region covered by the Government-backed Midlands Engine initiative.

‘The cost to the economy of mental health across the Midlands could be in excess of £45bn this year’

The two-year programme

aims to contribute to the reduction of mental health distress, break down the barriers to accessing care faced by people experiencing mental illness, support staff as they return to work and make a positive contribution to organisational productivity. Dr Paula Holt, pro vice-

chancellor dean of the College of Health and Social Care at the University of Derby, said: “The cost to the economy of mental health across the Midlands could be in excess of £45bn this year, yet research shows that for every £1 invested in supporting the mental health of employees, the return to the employer in productivity is £5. Those returns are greater still when employers take preventative, rather than reactive, steps to help staff.” About 1,900 employers took

part in the first phase of the project, exploring the issues of how mental health and wellbeing are currently dealt with in the workplace and its impact on performance. A third of those taking part

reported sickness absence among staff due to mental health issues, and a similar proportion recorded presenteeism. Dr Holt added: “A healthy and

inclusive workplace is essential for all businesses, so providing appropriate support for employees, creating a culture of openness and tackling discrimination and stigma, will help to remove some of the barriers to growth for firms.”

6 business networkOctober 2020

A trentbarton passenger travels using the new mango app

trentbarton in launch of mango smartphone app

The “world’s most advanced ticketing app for buses” is coming to the East Midlands as operator trentbarton launches the mango app for smartphones. It is said to be the planet’s first account-based

ticketing app from a bus company, calculating the right fare for customers using scan-on, scan-off technology via a QR code.

‘We’ve taken the best bits of the mango card and put them into the mango app’

The free app, available on Apple and Android

devices, also includes an on-screen balance and online top-up function. In time, it will replace the plastic mango cards that have been in use since 2008. More than 100,000 of these cards are currently active and 678,000 have been issued during the past 12 years. Jeff Counsell, managing director of trentbarton, said:

“We’ve taken the best bits of the mango card and put them into the mango app, plus added more to bring mango into the smartphone age.

“trentbarton has always been an innovator and

brought new firsts to bus travel throughout our history. “Mango was already a ground-breaking fare cap

payment method and the app will propel mango into the future.” After topping up with credit, either within the app or

at a trentbarton travel shop, customers then use the app each time they travel. The mango app automatically generates a unique

QR-style barcode to be scanned as the customer gets on board. Customers will also scan their phone under the driver’s ticket machine when getting off. Each night, the mango system will calculate the right fares to charge for the day’s journeys, including the mango discount on single-trip cash fares. As well as a daily cap on charges, there are also

rolling weekly and 28-day caps so customers can be confident there is a limit to what they spend, however frequently they travel on trentbarton buses. There are discounts for students and apprentices. Customers without a smartphone can still pay by

tapping on and tapping off with their contactless debit or credit cards, paying wish cash or buying a saver pass.

Bus firm launches flexible service

Zeelo, the smart bus company, has launched a flexible peak service to help distribution centres, warehouses and logistics parks deal with the upcoming peak period. Serving major employment sites in the East Midlands including Amazon’s logistics hubs, it will include flexible contract arrangements, smart routing and daily reporting on rider numbers. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the logistics and

supply chain industry has experienced unprecedented rises in demand as the move to online shopping intensifies. With Christmas just around the corner, experts are expecting it to be the biggest e-commerce period in history. These peaks require temporary increases in staff and

extended shift times in order to match the demand. Zeelo co-founder Barney Williams said: “There is no

need to get locked into long-term expensive contracts. Our team is able to launch a new service in 24 hours. "Our service allows businesses to attract new

employee pools to fill demand, add flexibility to their employees' transport options and allows us to help

businesses manage their peak periods as efficiently and safely as possible in these unprecedented times.” Zeelo has been working with Amazon, XPO Logistics,

Henkel and Ocado. The companies have provided daily services and flexible short-term services, to ensure all employees have easy access to transportation that has the strongest Covid-19 safety measures in place, including contact tracing and capacity management.

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