Richard Martin, Director of workplace consultancy byrne·dean, introduces the Mindful Business Charter and explains why private practice and in-house teams across Scotland could benefit from its implementation to help colleagues combat stress. A webinar event is being hosted on Wednesday 6 May, so workplaces can find out more about its impact so far, its potential to support colleagues and to announce recent signatories.

The mental health of the legal profession has rightly become much more of a focus over recent years. The current corona virus related hiatus is sharpening that focus ever more. I am delighted, therefore, to invite you to a webinar to find out more about the Mindful Business Charter (MBC).

What is the Mindful Business Charter? 

The Mindful Business Charter is a landmark initiative aiming to create healthier and more effective working environments through removing sources of unnecessary stress. The Charter is the result of a collaborative research exercise between leading law firms and banks and is designed to be both commercial and responsible. We know that when people are stressed they work less effectively and they risk damage to their health. It is impossible completely to eliminate pressure from the workplace, but the purpose of the MBC is to encourage more mindful, respectful working practices and to create a platform for people to speak out at times when they are under stress.

A short history of the Charter can be found here. It was deliberately developed to be flexible enough to be deployed across a wide range and size of professional and financial services organisations. There is an ever growing number of organisations from a wide range of business sectors that have made a public commitment to adopt the MBC’s principles. The current list is due to be expanded with a further group of signatories to be announced in May.

Leading Scots law firms Morton Fraser and Burness Paull signed the Charter on 10 October 2019. A number of other organisations with presence north of the border are also signatories and a number of other Scots law firms have expressed interest in getting involved.

Find out more by joining the webinar event on 6 May

We are delighted to be holding a webinar on 6 May at 4.30pm to introduce the Mindful Business Charter further to Scotland.

The webinar will provide an opportunity for organisations to find out more about the Charter and how to get involved.  There will be a chance to hear from existing signatories about how they have adopted and embedded the Charter and the changes it has made both internally and within their client relationships.

The Charter works most effectively when client and supplier are both bought in to the pillars it enunciates. We are therefore extending this invitation to our networks of private practice lawyers and in house teams. It is a great opportunity for the two branches of the profession to work together and to support and learn from each other.

Keen to attend?

Please go to www.mbcedinburgh.eventbrite.co.uk to confirm your webinar attendance. This is a free event. Numbers are limited for the event but if you would like to invite a colleague (or if you are unable to attend but think someone else may be interested) then please ask them to register using the same link. If you want any more information about the Charter then please email MBC@byrnedean.com.

Richard spent the first 20 years of his career as an employment lawyer in London, serving as a partner at Gouldens and then Jones Day (following the merger of those firms) before moving to Speechly Bircham where he ran the large employment team and sat on the firm’s management committee. In 2011 he suffered a serious mental breakdown, spent time in hospital and two years recovering. He is now a leading activist in the field of mental health. His day to day work involves working with organisations around the world to raise awareness of mental health and illness, enable people to be more aware of their own wellbeing, create supportive cultures in which wellbeing can be discussed and ensure that those in difficulty are supported. He co-chairs the Lord Mayor of London’s This is Me campaign which uses storytelling to reduce the stigma around mental health and illness, he leads the Mindful Business Charter, an initiative to remove the unnecessary stress in our workplaces, he is a mental health first aid instructor and coach. In 2018 he published his memoir of mental illness and recovery, This too will pass – Anxiety in a professional world, which has been very well received. He is a director of leading workplace consultancy byrne·dean.

Wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak

During this time, it's particularly important for you to look after your mental health and wellbeing. Here are links to some resources and campaigns to offer support.