Press release

FCO performing above the Civil Service Average on wellbeing

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has today published its first voluntary report on staff disability, health and wellbeing.

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  • Publication of first ever FCO voluntary report on staff disability, health and wellbeing shows positive picture.
  • FCO scores higher than civil service average on wellbeing, and lower than civil service on stress levels.
  • Reporting period covers preparation and planning work for EU exit.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has today published its first voluntary report on staff disability, health and wellbeing. The Civil Service as a whole reports against the framework already, following the Stephenson-Farmer “Thriving at work” report, but this year individual departments are publishing information for the first time.

The FCO faces specific and unique challenges that could potentially impact on wellbeing, which other departments do not have to deal with. These include staff working far from friends and family, in difficult or even hostile environments, and the possibility of moving location to anywhere around the world at short notice.

The report finds that:

  • FCO employees had a PERMA (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, sense of Meaning, and sense of Accomplishment) index score of 76%, higher than the median score for the Civil Service as a whole (74%).
  • A stress index score of 27%, lower than the Civil Service average score of 29%.
  • All FCO scores have shown small improvements over recent years.

Sir Simon McDonald Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, said:

“For the last three years we have worked hard on the UK’s exit from the EU. This year we temporarily relocated some staff to key locations across Europe to support British Nationals and business. I am proud that we continue to improve our wellbeing scores. The well-being of staff throughout our global network is a priority.”

The report also sets out how the FCO is supporting disabled staff and details of the FCO Wellbeing Strategy, which was launched in May 2018.

The full report can be found here.

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Published 14 June 2019