“After seeing the increase in awareness of mental health within organisations, and how many larger companies are starting to offer support systems for their employees, is it a legal requirement for me to offer mental health support to employees?”
It will depend to what extent. All employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. It has been since the introduction of The Equality Act 2010, that mental health can be legally defined as a disability, therefore certain steps must be made in the workplace to ensure the employee is well looked after.
It will not come as a surprise that happier employees have a significantly higher productivity rate. Therefore, it is important that you consider the mental health of your employees and offer as much support as you possibly can for them, whether this is a longer lunch break on a dreaded Monday, or providing them with details for external support for someone to talk to. Organisations can be one of the best environments to be able to teach people about the importance of mental health, and can be the quickest way to raise awareness.
The sudden rise in awareness and trying to reduce the stigma of mental health within the workplace can be very beneficial to a company’s reputation, if they are seen to be taking action!
– One in six workers suffer from anxiety, depression and unmanageable stress each year.
– 74% of people with a mental health problem for more than a year are out of work.
– 55% of those with depression or anxiety for more than a year are out of work.
– 49% of workers would not be comfortable disclosing a mental health issue at work.
– Workplace mental ill-health costs employers around £26 billion per year.