The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has set up a Facebook support page for furloughed workers in the building services sector
It will offer guidance and support through Facebook Lives, posts and discussions on topics including personal finance, mental health and coping with practical day to day issues.
Helen Yeulet, BESA’s director of training, who is on furlough herself, has volunteered to run the page. The support group would aim to have a weekly meeting but would be available as a continuous community where individuals could keep their own conversations going.
She said: “While BESA represents employers who are going through very tough times right now, we felt it was important that staff members also had somewhere they could turn to for support.
“Furlough can be a lonely experience and this support page is a place where people can touch base with colleagues and others across the sector who are going through the same thing.”
Emily Pearson, managing director of the mental health in the workplace organisation Our Minds Work, said: “We need to treat mental health with the same seriousness as physical health.”
She told the Association that it was important for people working from home, or in more isolation than usual, to remain in regular contact with work colleagues and to closely monitor changes to their mental well-being.
BESA’s chief executive, David Frise, said: “The industry has made major progress on the physical safety of its workforce, but continues to struggle with mental health issues, which are just as important.
“Employers must be mindful of the impact uncertainty and isolation can have on their staff who will also be worrying about their job security.
“We are also urging banks to be mindful of the particular pressure on small business owners applying for financial support through the government’s emergency schemes.”
The BESA Facebook support page can be found here.