A NEWPORT employer has been recognised as one of the country’s top employers for its work to tackle and de-stigmatise mental health issues in the workplace.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) – which currently employs around 1,500 staff at its Newport headquarters – received the Gold Workplace Wellbeing award from mental health charity Mind in their latest workplace report published last month.

This saw the IPO coming first in the UK in the employer assessment section with a perfect 100 per cent rating, and fifth in the UK overall.

Mind say that the Gold standard is given to "employers who have successfully embedded mental health into their policies and practices, demonstrating a long-term and in-depth commitment to staff mental health”.

According to Mind’s latest report, 87 per cent of IPO’s staff said they felt their employer consults them on how the organisation should be run and on how to promote wellbeing.

While 90 per cent said they felt that the IPO encourages openness and discussion about mental health.

A further 85 per cent also said the organisation makes it possible to speak openly when experiencing mental health problems.

The award reflects the range of initiatives at the IPO to support the mental wellbeing of staff.

These include a network of mental health first aiders, fully qualified staff counsellors and a dedicated wellbeing team.

Talks and seminars for employees with a range of expert speakers on issues ranging from the menopause to bowel health awareness are arranged regularly.


Staff are also supported to embrace local volunteering opportunities, working with organisations such as the Prince’s Trust.

The IPO say that engagement with staff is central to their objective of making it a brilliant place to work.

The IPO’s chief executive Tim Moss said: “Our role is helping make the UK the most innovative and creative country in the world; one of the pillars of our strategy to do this is making the IPO a brilliant place to work and I’m delighted that the great work the team is doing is recognised through this award.

“We believe in an inclusive workplace, one where everyone has the confidence to be themselves at work and feels supported with whatever challenges they might be facing, and the wealth of ideas and initiatives originating from our staff will remain central to creating this”.

Jodie Swanbo, workplace wellbeing lead engagement manager at Mind Cymru, added: “It inspires me to see how the IPO has taken such positive steps to support the mental health of its employees.

"In the last year, the coronavirus pandemic has affected all our lives; the way we work has fundamentally changed, whether that is working on the frontline or working at home.

"Employers like the IPO have faced, and continue to face, significant challenges in effectively supporting the wellbeing of their people in this new and uncertain context.

“Despite the challenging times we have all had recently, staff at the IPO told us they feel listened to and that there is an open culture around mental health.

"I look forward to seeing how their approach to workplace wellbeing will continue to evolve.”