Acas has published new guidance on tackling mental illness at work.
Mental ill-health has a huge detrimental effect on productivity: 91m work days are lost every year, costing businesses £30bn a year through lost production, recruitment and absence.
Mental illness, including dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia, is classed as a disability (at the point of diagnosis) under the Equality Act 2010, making it unlawful for an employer to treat a disabled person less favourably for a reason relating to their disability, without a justifiable reason.
It therefore makes good sense for an employer to take steps to understand and addressing mental health in the workplace.
This step-by-step guide intends to shows employers and managers how to:
1. Spot early the signs of mental ill-health;
2. Raise awareness of mental health issues among managers and staff;
3. Develop a culture where an employee feels comfortable disclosing their condition;
4. Approach an employee who may have a mental health condition; and
5. Try to help the employee cope with their condition or overcome it so they can work effectively again.
If you are unsure whether your workplace equality policies sufficiently cover mental illnesses, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.