141.1 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in the UK in 2018*, with mental health conditions such as stress, depression and anxiety being some of the most common reasons for this absence.
‘Time to Talk Day’ aims to encourage everyone to be more open about mental health, making time to talk, listen and change the lives of those struggling with their mental health.
In this short blog, we discuss an employer’s duty of care and ways they can support employees.
Employers Duty of Care
‘Duty of Care’ is a legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of employees, preventing exposure to unreasonable harm at work, both physical and psychological. This duty of care extends to the mental health (including workplace stress) of employees.
If a business has five or more employees, an employer must have a written health and safety policy, which all employees should be aware of.
As well as written policies, there are also practical ways that an employer can support employees with their mental health, these include:
Ongoing mental health
If an employee has an ongoing mental health problem that meets the definition of disability in the Equality Act (2010) and the Disability Discrimination Act, they are protected from discrimination and harassment and are entitled to reasonable adjustments to adapt their job or work.
These adjustments can include:
If you feel your employer has failed to provide the necessary duty of care, or failed to resolve a grievance, you may be able to make a claim.
It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you because of a mental health condition, discrimination can include termination of your contract or overlooking you for a promotion as a result of your mental health.
You can contact our employment department for free legal advice on: 0114 225 6666 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our employment team can also draft documents for employers, such as a health and safety policy and employment contracts.