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Mental ill health affects one in three of the working population. Yet this can be a difficult topic to broach in the workplace: both for employers and employees. Commonly, employees facing mental health difficulties can be fearful about being totally honest with their employers.

e support a wide range of businesses and individuals in navigating employment rights afforded to those facing mental health difficulties. Commonly, employees in these circumstances are protected under the Equality Act 2010 where their condition is serious and long-term. In such cases, employers must consider and make reasonable adjustments to support employees with mental ill health.

We provide pragmatic advice about how such adjustments can work for both parties, such as flexible working, adjusting roles or holding regular welfare meetings.

Since we started to help service personnel with AFCS claims for PTSD we have been engaging in issues of mental wellbeing.

It pays to be positive about mental health. Employers who adopt a positive approach to wellbeing can expect to see increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, better retention rates and an enhanced reputation in the marketplace. Positive steps can include mental health awareness training, implementing a wellbeing strategy or putting on wellbeing activities, such as knitting or a staff choir.

As well as advising our clients on mental health in the workplace, Irwin Mitchell has recently signed the ‘Mindful Employer’ charter: a national initiative for employers who are positive about supporting mental health and wellbeing. Over 1,000 employers across the UK have already signed the charter.

Becoming a ‘Mindful Employer’ is about:

  • Raising awareness of mental health issues in the workplace
  • Establishing good employment practices
  • Making it easier for staff to talk about mental health issue

Published: 18 July 2017

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Summer 2017 - Download PDF