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Roundtable: Lonely this Christmas – how employers can tackle workforce social isolation and loneliness

Dec 18
An iphone lying on a table
Date and time
Wed, 18 December  @  10:00  -  12:00
Invitation only
Edinburgh United Kingdom
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Wed, 18 December 2019  @  10:00  –  12:00

An iphone lying on a table
A gold giftwrap bow next to a Business in the Community Scotland logo and text saying 'Lonely this Christmas'
Join BITC Scotland, Christina McKelvie MSP and business leaders for coffee, cake and conversation on what employers can do to tackle social isolation and loneliness.
Social isolation and loneliness are challenges that have serious consequences for individuals, employers and communities. This has been recognised by the Scottish Government, which has created a strategy and implementation group to ensure we can create a Connected Scotland. Attendees at this event will share experiences from their own organisations, learn from other guests and collaborate with government and civil society as we work together towards a connected Scotland.

According to the Minister for Older People and Equalities, Christina McKelvie MSP, who leads on Scotland’s strategy for tackling social isolation and loneliness, one in 10 people in Scotland report often feeling lonely1. This can be caused by factors both within and beyond work.

In the recently published Scottish companion to Mental Health at Work Report: 2019: Time to Take Ownership LINKED, in partnership with Mercer Marsh Benefits and BITC’s Wellbeing Team, 52 per cent of employees in Scotland have cited poor mental health due to causes outside of work. Of those, 43 per cent of those aged 18-39 cited loneliness as a key cause. Furthermore, two in five employees in Scotland reported poor mental health as a result of work, with 24 per cent citing feeling lonely or isolated at work as a cause2.

Employers are in prime position to help reduce social isolation and loneliness for their workforce, regardless of the causes of those feelings. There are business benefits for doing so. Businesses that have an engaged, diverse workforce that supports good mental health and wellbeing are more productive, innovative and competitive in a rapidly changing economy.

  • 10:00 Guest arrival
  • 10:15 Welcome and Introductions
  • 10:30 Overview of Mental Health at Work findings on social isolation and loneliness from BITC
  • 10:45 Summary of the Connected Scotland Strategy by Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities
  • 11:00 Group discussion
  • 11:45 Closing Remarks
  • 12:00 Event ends

Tea, coffee, cakes and light refreshments will be served.


This event is by invitation only. If you think you should have received an invitation and have not contact Cynthia Marks, Campaign Manager, BITC Scotland.

How Business in the Community creates a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow.

  1. Our Voice Citizen’s Panel; (2017); Survey on relationships with health and social care professionals, shared decision-making, how loneliness affects people in Scotland, and how well services are working locally; p.46; available at https://www.ourvoice.scot; (Last Accessed: 04/01/18)


Wed, 18 December
10:00 – 12:00
Invitation only
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