The Health and Social Care Act 2012 should have made a difference to the way employers treat staff with mental health problems but as recently as 2010, it was found that more than seventy percent of companies had no formal mental health policy.
However, the Government is now urging employers to sign up to the ‘Time to Change’ campaign, which is aimed at ending mental health discrimination in the workplace.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Care Services Minister Paul Burstow will ask employers to take three simple steps to improve the mental health of their staff. With these steps, the Government believes that unnecessary costs to businesses, such as lost productivity, can be avoided.
Apart from signing up to the Time to Change campaign, another step s for firms to get some “First Aid’ training in mental health, as it is the most prevalent cause of illness amongst working age people.
And the third step is to keep the Health for Work Adviceline number at hand. This helpline is designed to support employers and employees in small and medium sized businesses.
At a reception to launch the plans later today, Nick Clegg will say: “Today I am calling on every employer large and small to do a mental health stock take. Too many people suffer in silence with mental health issues. Employers are well placed to recognise warning signs and signpost their staff to support.
“Seventy million working days are lost as a result of mental health issues every year, costing business £1000 every year for each employee. Managing mental health at work well can save around thirty percent of these costs – businesses cannot afford not to take mental health seriously.
“These three simple steps give all employers the support to look after their staff’s mental health and keep Britain working.”
Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London
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