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HFW Underlines Mental Wellbeing Commitment By Signing Mindful Business Charter

10 October 2019

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has underlined its commitment to mental health and wellbeing by signing the Mindful Business Charter.

By signing the Charter, HFW publicly commits to removing unnecessary sources of workplace stress and promoting better mental health and wellbeing across its business.

The firm will seek to achieve this through four key actions:

  • Effective communication and a culture of openness and respect
  • Smart meetings and emails – allowing people to join meetings remotely by default, and avoiding over-use of email and copying people in unnecessarily
  • Respecting rest periods – making it clear whether emails sent outside of business hours need to be read or actioned promptly, and respecting people’s right to take annual leave without the expectation of them being on call and checking emails
  • Mindful collaboration and delegation – providing sufficient context and information for a piece of work, and recipients feeling confident to flag when a deadline is unrealistic

HFW also commits to promoting a culture where people can speak up early about any concerns they might have in relation to their wellbeing or the wellbeing of colleagues, and to ensuring responsible business practice is included as an area of assessment during significant procurement processes.

Mental health is a key focus of HFW’s global diversity and inclusion strategy. HFW has 48 trained Mental Health First Aiders across its international office network, who are able to provide support on mental health issues and direct colleagues to appropriate specialist help, and more than 100 of the firm’s partners have attended Mental Health Awareness training.

HFW also offers free resilience training to everyone at the firm, while its Employee Assistance Program provides access to face-to-face counselling for not just staff but also household family members.

Jeremy Shebson, Managing Partner, HFW:

“We take the health and wellbeing of everyone at HFW extremely seriously. We recognise that legal services can be a high stress industry, and that in continuing to provide an outstanding service to our clients, there will be times when long hours and stress cannot be avoided. But we want this to be the exception, rather than the rule. Signing the Mindful Business Charter is another important step and we believe that by working together with our colleagues around the world, we can continue to make meaningful progress.”

Paul Dean, Mental Wellbeing Champion and Global Head of Shipping, HFW:

“At HFW, we passionately believe that mental health is just as important as physical health, and we aim to reduce stigma and provide support to everyone in the firm. I’m extremely proud of the work we have done over the years and the progress we have already made. Signing the Mindful Business Charter is a major undertaking and reflects the strength of our commitment to mental health and wellbeing. I am very proud to be part of a firm that takes this issue so seriously.”

Elizabeth Healey, Corporate Responsibility Executive, HFW:

“Mental wellbeing is non-discriminative – it affects us all. At HFW, we aim to treat mental health with the same care, responsibility and urgency that we all do with physical health. Our work in this area is far from complete, but our new commitment to the Mindful Business Charter principles will play a major role in helping us continue to improve our working practices.”

Press Contact
Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson
Head of Communications