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Julie Dunane CG Professional

Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace

Julie Duane, Solicitor Advocate at CG Professional

Statistics show that there has been an increase of 37% in disability discrimination claims in 2018 from the previous year. This suggests that disability discrimination claims are being generated eight times faster than the growth of other Tribunal Claims.

Considering the media and public focus shift to the importance of Mental Health in the Workplace, inevitably this has started to impact the Employment and Tribunal framework.

In April 2019, the Government announced that they would be introducing a New Job Support Scheme for people who encounter mental health conditions. The purpose of the Individual Placement Support Service (IPS) is to help, support and encourage individuals to return to work, with anticipated statistics of over 55,000 individuals having access to the scheme over the next 5 years.

Initially this is intended to be rolled out to 28 new local NHS areas and offers individuals the ability to receive advice from employment specialists, along with guidance support on job searches and interview preparation.

As Mental Health Awareness Week takes effect from 13 to 19 May 2019 and with symptoms of mental ill-health affecting approximately one third of employees in an employer’s business, now is the opportune time for employers to look at their current practices to ensure they are helping alleviate pressures in the most effective way.

Our top tips for Employers therefore include:

  • Improve training for managers on how to address mental health in the workplace;
  • Encourage early, informal discussions with employees to address stress in the workplace;
  • Implement and abide by stress in the workplace policy and disseminate this to the employees;
  • Encourage open discussions regarding Mental Health in the Workplace;
  • Determine whether the employee requires reasonable adjustments in order to carry out their role;
  • Encourage a “buddy” system in the workplace; and
  • Encourage the individual to provide self-care i.e. obtain counselling.

If you have any questions regarding the above or are concerned about an individual’s mental health in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team at CG Professional who will be more than happy to help.