HAULAGE INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO SUFFER EMPLOYEE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS
Demand for goods has surged in the lead up to Christmas. A recent survey from Haulage Exchange revealed that 50% of logistics companies experienced a rise in employee stress, anxiety and other mental health issues due to the indirect impacts of Brexit.
This research from the UK's largest freight exchange platform, Haulage Exchange, aims to encourage companies in the haulage industry to look out for the signs of poor mental health and take practical steps to support employees in the run up to Christmas.
On 15 November 2021, the government changed the requirements for HGV driving tests, in an effort to attract new drivers and make up for the post-Brexit shortfall of an estimated 100,000 drivers.
Announcements were also made regarding the frequency of deliveries, as thousands more HGV deliveries could be made each month due to temporary changes to ‘cabotage’ rules. These changes allow foreign transport operators to make unlimited journeys for two weeks before returning home.
Luke Davies, head of sales at Transport Exchange Group, says, “With the national shortage of drivers we’ve currently got, it’s more important than ever to retain drivers. Safeguarding their mental health is one way to make them feel valued and improve their working environment.”
Mental health charity, Mind, published research showing that 30% of self-reported work-related illnesses in the transport and logistics industry are due to stress, depression and anxiety. Other factors negatively impacting drivers’ mental health is shift working patterns, social isolation and the upcoming risk of seasonal affective disorder during the winter months. Female drivers also face prejudice and isolation being in a male dominated industry.
“If the right help isn’t available for drivers, some elements of the job can become stressful. So it’s vital that drivers feel like they can open up about any issues, rather than keeping things bottled up. Companies can set up a confidential hotline, introduce mental health days or provide free counselling. They can also address the link between good physical health and positive mental health, by promoting exercise and healthy diets,” adds Davies.