Seanad debates

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Health and Safety

10:30 am

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

On behalf of the Minister of State, Deputy Daly, I thank Senator Buttimer for raising this important matter. I will bring back to the Minister of State the points the Senator has made on considering more ways to encourage best practice by employers and the need for training and discussion on this issue. I am not sure that legislation is the way forward, but I will mention that to the Minister of State to see what is the best way to proceed. There has been a cultural change in Ireland. It is important that, as a Government, we are part of that movement and that we fund initiatives to help with that.

Positive mental health is essential to fostering an open, collaborative, positive and healthy atmosphere in the workplace. The formal training I mentioned earlier, such as the programmes offered through the HSE's National Office for Suicide Prevention and those offered through NGO partners are effective tools in ensuring that employees are conscious of their mental health and that of their colleagues. It is of great benefit to employers as well as employees and will help create a healthier workplace environment. We should encourage employers to take up these programmes wherever they can do so. That is something we can work on in conjunction with Senator Buttimer.


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