Employer responsibilities around mental health in the workplace

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, and business leaders should be reviewing how they support staff at work, improving and refining practices and policies, writes CEO at Health Assured, David Price.   Employers have a duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of their staff, and this includes taking reasonable care to prevent issues surrounding mental health in the workplace from occurring.   Ignoring stress-related symptoms and other indications of mental illhealth should not be an option for employers. A massive culture change in how this issue should be addressed over the past few years has helped introduce a positive and proactive approach from employers.   The law also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the grounds of a protected characteristic. Some mental illnesses will constitute a disability under the Equality Act 2010, where these have a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to do normal day to day activities.   This means employers cannot treat employees less favourably because of poor mental health in the workplace. There is also a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to avoid disadvantages faced by disabled employees. This is a positive duty to take reasonable steps to remove or reduce the obstacles the employee is facing at work because of a mental illness.   Excerpt from Business Advice, read the full article here.

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