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Guide for human resource professionals: what can you do to help an employee returning to work?


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When people have been unwell, they often need help from others. This guide is designed for HR professionals to support employees who are returning to work after an absence related to mental health problems.

It’s based on the IGLOo framework, developed by the University of Sheffield and Affinity Health at Work, which recognises that we all need other people and ourselves to help us stay healthy and happy:

  • Individual resources: things like confidence and self-care;
  • Group resources: help from colleagues, friends and family;
  • Leader resources: help from your line manager, GP or service providers; and
  • Organisational resources: help provided by your organisation, volunteer groups or charities.

This brief, accessible PDF is for HR professionals in particular (but is part of a suite including guides for the employee themselves​Guide for employees: what can you do to make sure you thrive on your return to work? PDF 0 0This guide is designed to help you during your first few months back at work following a period of absence due to mental ill-health. It's based on the IGLOo model, looking at the Individual, Group, Leader and Organisation's parts to play.Free By: University of Sheffield View resource, for colleagues​Guide for colleagues: what can you do to help a colleague returning to work? PDF 1 0This guide is designed to help you to support a colleague who is returning to work after a mental health-related absence. It's based on the IGLOo model, looking at the Individual, Group, Leader and Organisation's parts to play.Free By: University of Sheffield View resource, and for line managers​Guide for line managers: what can you do to help a team member returning to work? PDF 0 0This guide is designed for line managers to support team members returning to work after a mental health-related absence. It's based on the IGLOo model, looking at the Individual, Group, Leader and Organisation's parts to play.Free By: University of Sheffield View resource). It has a quick introduction to common mental health issues and their signs, and an overview of how each part of the IGLOo can help someone returning to work. Then, there’s a checklist to help you make sure the right things are in place.

You can also see a quick introduction to the IGLOo framework, from one of the researchers behind it, in this video:

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University of Sheffield
University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is a public research university based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

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Affinity Health at Work
Affinity Health at Work

Affinity Health at Work is a niche occupational health psychology consultancy and research group.

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Birkbeck: University of London
Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck is a college of the University of London, specialising in evening courses.

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