Find out more about creating a mentally healthy work environment. While some types of discrimination are quite obvious, there are other, subtler forms that you might also experience, such as ‘indirect discrimination’. Supporting mental health in the workplace If an employee has a mental health issue, it’s important their employer takes it seriously. To get protection under the Equality Act, you usually need to show that your mental health problem is a disability. If your mental health problem is categorised as a disability, then disability discrimination leglisation protects you in the workplace. 4 Registered in England and Wales. Should they fail to take action, you should register a formal grievance and your workplace should have a process in place for doing this. View this information as a PDF (new window). Research from our friends at See Me reveals that 48% of people don’t tell their employers about mental health problems for fear of losing their job. ‘Long-term’ in this case, means that it has gone on, or is likely to go on, for at least 12 months, or will probably come back repeatedly. Mental Health Discrimination is not yet a thing of the past. If you feel as though your health and safety is at risk due to returning to the office and your employer is not putting the necessary measures in place to ensure safety then you could potentially refuse to come into the office and have statutory rights to protect you from dismissal, however this would be unpaid and must be reasonable. Your employer may also be required to make reasonable adjustments to your workplace to ensure you are able to do your job. 'Disability' has a special legal meaning under the Equality Act. Whilst awareness of mental health issues has risen, most employers do not acknowledge, understand, or know how to deal with the adverse impact working from home can have on their employees’ mental health. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to discrimination at work. Workplace discrimination is when someone is treated less favourably or put at a disadvantage due to what is known as a ‘protected characteristic’. The return to work: a guide for employers. If you already have a mental health problem it is particularly important that you express your concerns to your employer as they could provide reasonable adjustments to provide extra support. The legal definition of ‘disability’ is far wider than you might think. We can help with legal issues in a number of areas, including personal injuries, disputes over things you have bought, or problems at work. If you think you are being discriminated against at work because of a mental health issue, you should first make a complaint to your manager or another appropriate representative of your employer. In addition to this, you can raise your concerns in the form of the grievance so the issues can be addressed or alternatively you can report this to your local authority or Health and Safety Executive. We could help you to deal with commercial and employee disputes, as well as helping you with the setting-up of your business. Your employers should take measures to prevent employees suffering excessive stress and will be expected to carry out risk assessments in order to mitigate the risk associated with remote home working. It also means that your employer must not discriminate against you and will be required to provide reasonable adjustments for your condition. There are a number of ways in which you might suffer such a disadvantage. This is so unrealistic for the majority of people, though, and it shouldn’t be something to aspire to. If this is not possible your employer has a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of its employees so should put measures in place as per the Health and Safety Executive guidance to ensure safety. Quite often manifests itself as bullying in the workplace. The value added to the economy by people who are at work and have or have had mental health problems is as high as £225 billion per year, which represents 12.1% of the UK's total GDP. © 2020 Mind We're a registered charity in England (no. It's vital that we protect that value by addressing mental health at work for those with existing issues, for those at risk, and for the workforce as a whole. This Thursday (10th October) marks World Mental Health Day which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and their impact on everyday life. You can access DAS Householdlaw by using the voucher code in your policy provider’s documentation. 49% of workers would not be comfortable disclosing a mental health issue at work. Three federal laws apply to an employee’s health-related needs on the job. Working from home has also impacted our mental health. In order to provide complete functionality, this web site needs your explicit consent to store browser cookies. Mental health in work Stigma and discrimination in work is a key issue for many employers and employees, for those trying to get a job and for people returning to work following a period of ill-health. Your employer has a duty of care for your health and wellbeing and must do all they reasonably can to support you. ‘Reasonable adjustments’ are changes to your working environment or methods intended to alleviate or remove any disadvantage you might otherwise suffer due to your disability. Here’s what you need to know if you are being treated unfairly at work because of your mental health. Indirect discrimination is where: a person or organisation has practices or … If you are treated unfavourably in the workplace because of something arising from your condition, rather than the condition itself, this may be classed as ‘discrimination arising from disability’. In the working world, the employee who can do it all, who takes no breaks, who is never stressed, who stays late and comes in early is heralded as the ideal employee. A disability is included within the definition of a protected characteristic, so any disadvantage you suffer at work because of a mental health condition could mean you are being discriminated against. This paradox is due to social perceptions that judge individuals exhibiting mental health symptoms buttressed against laws that punish employers for discriminating against employees with mental health disabilities. This includes when you try to get housing, education or any other services. Some employers are becoming more aware of the value of having ‘mental health first aiders’ in the workplace, however in many instances, your employer and colleagues may have no idea that anything is wrong while you suffer in silence. As previously mentioned, your employer may have extra support services available and could provide support in the shape of flexible working or, if already suffering from mental health issues, provide even further reasonable adjustments. Mental health discrimination occurs in the workplace when an employee is treated unfairly because of his or her disability (in this case, the mental health disorder). To mark International Stress Awareness Week, Jade Harrison, legal adviser at DAS Law, takes a look at what the law says your employer needs to do about workplace stress. A disability is defined by the Equality Act 2010 as: ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’ This is referred to as discrimination and … As we slowly exit lockdown, this is the ideal opportunity to spend some time giving your business a ‘spring clean’. Whilst you may not consider yourself to be disabled, according to the law, a disability is any long-term physical or mental impairment which has a substantial negative effect on your ability to carry out everyday activities. If you are an employee with an ADA-recognized disability, you must still be able to do your job, and you cannot pose a substantial threat to yourself or your co-workers. Our legal services are designed to be appropriate for your needs, with advice that is as clear and jargon-free as possible. Furthermore, if you have a disability or health condition you should talk to your employer about whether you need any reasonable adjustments in order to ensure your safe return to work. It is not always easy to show that a particular health condition is a disability coming within the definition now set out in section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 (originally in section 1 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995). There are many situations in which you may feel treated unfairly because of your disability, but the law only covers these types of discrimination: In the UK, law that protects you from discrimination is called the Equality Act. This is called discrimination and, if you experience discrimination at work, you may have a legal right to challenge it. DAS UK customers have access to templates and guides on dashouseholdlaw.co.uk. This is when policies and practices that apply to everyone at work put you at a disadvantage because of your disability. This issue brief is available for download pdf icon [PDF – 2 MB]. 5 This is remarkable, as MDD is one of the leading causes of the global burden of disease. This brings the whole issue of mental health to the fore. It doesn't apply to children unless specifically stated. DAS Law Associate Carly Owen looks at the latest developments regarding the government’s Job Retention Scheme. Head and Registered Office: North Quay, Quay Side, Temple Back, Bristol BS1 6FL DX 141841 Bristol 19 If things don’t go well in terms of the way you are treated, then it is important that your employer has been made aware of your condition as their duty not to discriminate against you will not arise unless they knew, or ought to have known, about your disability. People with mental health problems say that the social stigma attached to mental ill health and the discrimination they experience can make their difficulties worse and make it harder to recover. Mind Infoline is closed right now, for support visit our out of hours page. The Equality Act also protects you when you use services. Your employer may, however, be able to establish a defence to this kind of discrimination if it is a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’. For example, it’s a good idea to talk to the employee to find out what support they might need at work. How to avoid workplace discrimination in your business, What to do if you are being discriminated against at work, Employing farm workers: what you need to know, What businesses need to do when coming out of Covid-19 lockdown, 6 tips for giving your business a “spring clean”. Can an employee refuse to return to work due to fears of contracting Covid-19? The Equality Act protects you from mental health discrimination at work and when applying for a job. The Fair Work Act protects employees who are dealing with mental health problems from unlawful workplace discrimination. Nevertheless, health & safety and social distancing measures still apply. With a sample of employed women of color (N = 276), we tested the associations of sexist and racist discrimination with poor work outcomes (job-related burnout and turnover intentions) and mental health outcomes (i.e., psychological distress). Employment disputes , Growing your business , Protecting your business , Setting up a business, Employment disputes , Protecting your business, What action you can take if someone parks outside your home, Beware the perils of sharing colleagues’ virtual Christmas party antics on social media, Your rights when it comes to holiday bookings, What Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers should know about their consumer rights. It also protects you when you are applying for jobs. A disability is defined by the Equality Act 2010 as: ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’ Hear about some of the problems that we have helped to solve. If your mental health problem is categorised as a disability, then disability discrimination leglisation protects you in the workplace. Finding employees who will be a long-term asset for your business can be an arduous and stressful process. Knowing your rights is critical when you are facing For example, if you have an anxiety disorder, you may find it nearly impossible to focus on your work in a noisy environment such as an open plan office. Whereas most studies on mental health problems and discrimination in the workplace have focused on severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia, relatively few have focused on major depressive disorder (MDD). There are many types of mental health issue. There are legal protections in place to support those with a mental health condition. join some private clubs and associations. If you don't allow cookies, you may not be able to use certain features of the web site; it is recommended that you allow all cookies. Minoo does not have any mental health problems but she looks after her aunt who has mental health problems. This situation may also highlight your employer’s ‘duty to make reasonable adjustments’ when they are aware of your condition and how it affects you. Under the current guidelines you should work from home wherever possible. We're taking the nation's craftiest fundraiser online. For example, your employer has a policy that only those people who have taken no sick leave in the previous 12 months are eligible for an annual bonus. Hayley Marles has six tips for a clean and tidy SME. Explain what outcome you want (such as compensation, or a recommendation that the employer makes reasonable adjustments). This also offers a workplace mental health support service for employees and prospective employees with mental health problems (find out more on Remploy's website). Jade Harrison at DAS Law explains what people need to know if they feel they are being treated unfairly at work because of their mental health…. Mental health conditions, work and the workplace. This way they can work with you to ensure that you aren’t disadvantaged at work and put in place reasonable adjustments if appropriate. At times, as sad as it may be, the best way for us to manage discrimination is to know it exists, be prepared for it and know how to safeguard our rights. Harassment- Blatantly being mistreated because of their protected characteristic. Nearly 1 in 5 US adults aged 18 or older (18.3% or 44.7 million people) reported any mental illness in 2016.2 In addition, 71% of adults reported at least one symptom of stress, such as a headache or feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Mental health … Whether or not it has a ‘substantial’ effect is based on how it affects you when untreated, so if you are on any medication or undergoing therapy to help with the condition, you should consider how it affects you without these. One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point. Lucy Kenyon looks at what employers need to consider when returning employees to work. A 2019 national poll from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) found that mental health stigma is still a major challenge in the workplace. Mind Infoline is closed right now, for support visit our, Find our information and support and more on our work, discrimination when buying, renting or living in property. Jorge has generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). Indicate any adjustments you may need to the process (such as regular breaks during a hearing). For example, your employer might offer you more flexible working hours or the opportunity to work from home or even make physical changes to the workplace. Note that the information was accurate at the time of publication but laws may have since changed. Furthermore your employers may provide dedicated help lines or mental health support group or counselling which could provide extra support, your employer should be able to outline these services available to you. We have helped many businesses with their legal issues. If you are claiming disability discrimination, put down what your mental health problem is and how it affects you. NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace App: What happens to our personal data? These pages contain general legal information, not legal advice. Together we’re Mind in Wales. Hayley Marles and Simon Roberts – both Senior Associates at DAS Law – look at what an employee needs to know about redundancy. His employer says he cannot apply because he has a mental health problem. Examples of reasonable adjustments. Mental health disorders are among the most burdensome health concerns in the United States. 23 May 2019 Anyone who receives worse treatment at work because of a mental health condition is a victim of discrimination. More than one in three were concerned about retaliation or being fired if they sought mental health care. 424348) in England and Wales. Employers are left trying to understand how the recently ‘flexible’ CJRS can be used as we come out of lockdown and more businesses reopen and bring back their workforces. The government recently announced the easing of lockdown restrictions for many businesses across the country. He asks his employer if he can apply for a new post doing work he is able to do. Running a business comes with enough challenges without the added complication of legal problems. There are lots of different ways that you can support us. We recommend you get advice from a specialist legal adviser or solicitor who will help you with your individual situation and needs. When job applicants or employees have a mental health condition that meets this criteria, they have workplace rights under the ADA. Employees with disabilities and health issues sometimes experience discrimination in the workplace. Employer then takes disciplinary action against you because of their mental health disorders are among the most burdensome health in. Support us helping individuals and businesses get access to templates and guides on dashouseholdlaw.co.uk do job... Problems from unlawful workplace discrimination as discrimination and, if you experience discrimination at work because your., solicitor at DAS Law is essential World mental health issues and their impact on everyday life more!, access to templates and guides on dashouseholdlaw.co.uk such as depression and anxiety are the myriad rules and that. 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