CSF survey highlights mental health concerns among intermediaries
Crystal Specialist Finance’s (CSF) second Health and Wellbeing Survey has raised concerns about mental wellbeing and working hours within the intermediary sector.
When asked ‘how would you rate your overall level of mental wellbeing’, 17.57% of respondents said the issue was ‘of concern’, up from 6.90% in August 2020.
The proportion of people working over 45 hours per week also increased to 66.22% from 62.07%. The government’s Working Time Directive states that you cannot work more than 48 hours a week on average, certain jobs aside, based over a 17 week period.
Despite these concerns, respondents’ levels of contentment have improved, although the largest percentage shift was into the ‘moderately happy category’.
Respondents to the CSF survey were 95% directly authorised (DA) mortgage brokers or appointed representatives (ARs), with the 5% balance being professional introducers, such as accountants and solicitors.
The questionnaire, which will be undertaken bi-annually, is part of CSF’s ongoing Health and Wellbeing Campaign which is looking to help individuals in the sector identify mental health issues and take the necessary steps to overcome isolation, stress, grief, financial worries and fears about the future.
Jason Berry, group sales and marketing director at CSF, said: “The questionnaire has developed from our first research project in August 2020, and we have added a number of questions to better correlate and understand the findings.
“Worryingly almost 73% of those responding said their company did not participate in any mental health or wellbeing initiative, and 10% of all sick days taken in 2020 were as a result of mental health.
“While we are all very aware that the market is very busy right now and the survey comes on the back of a tough lockdown winter, businesses and individuals must realise that the lack of a proper holiday and excessive working hours can have a detrimental effect on their lives and livelihoods.
“I, and many of the leading financial service professionals who have joined the Health and Wellbeing Campaign, urge company owners, directors and managers to take the initiative, look how the last 12 months has changed working practices and consider what can be done to push mental health to the fore.”