According to Acas, the estimated cost of mental ill health to UK employers each year is between £33 billion and £42 billion.
Additionally, a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development study highlighted the impact that mental ill health can have on organisations. It found that:
Recognising mental health issues is the first step when managing staff suffering with mental health illnesses. It is important to remember that whilst ‘work-related stress’ itself is not classed as a disability – depression and anxiety being the common symptoms of stress – it is often considered so under the Equality Act 2010.
Employers also often forget there are health and safety laws which dictate how mental health illnesses are dealt with in the workplace.
All employers have a common law duty to take reasonable care for the safety of their employees – they should see that reasonable care is taken to provide safety in the workplace, safe tools and equipment, and a safe system for roles to be carried out.
In addition, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 imposes a general duty on employers to ensure – so far as is reasonably practicable – the health, safety and welfare at work for all their employees.
Carrying out risk assessments, offering employee assistance, occupational health assessments and strong policies into how the company deals with mental health concerns, are all ways in which employers can minimise the risk of any claims.
By considering the above options, employers will be able to demonstrate that they have given serious thought as to how to provide reasonable adjustments for staff affected by mental health illnesses.
Additionally, it allows employees to have all the necessary tools to carry out their roles – or indeed the opportunity to decide whether their roles are suitable, given their condition.
It’s our mission to advise and develop the employment law capability of HR professionals wherever we can, helping HR teams make a real commercial difference to their organisations. That way, you spend less time solving operational issues and more time actioning projects that drive far-reaching change in your company.
Call 0333 006 2929 or email email@example.com today to discover exactly how we can help you.