04 October 2016
One in ten employees who have experienced poor mental health were subject to disciplinary action and even dismissal from the workplace as a result, new research shows.
A survey of 20,000 people conducted by charity Business in the Community showed a shocking 77% employees have experienced poor psychological wellbeing, 29% are diagnosed with a mental health condition, and 62% attribute their symptoms at least partly to work itself.
However, such is the culture of work that people feel unable to share their distress and most suffer in silence.
Out of nine equality and social issues, mental health was the one employees felt least comfortable to talk about at work, with 35% saying they did not approach anyone for support when they experienced problems. Although 76% of line managers consider themselves responsible for their employees’ wellbeing, just 22% had received any training.
Most shockingly of all, 9% of employees had experienced disciplinary action up to and including dismissal as a result of poor mental health.
Louise Aston, wellbeing director at Business in the Community, said: “Progress will only happen when employers approach mental ill health as they would physical ill health – doing what they can to prevent ill health occurring or escalating, and ensuring proper support for employees when it happens.”
This month, the Institute of employment Rights is bringing together legal experts and trade union activists to discuss developments in health and safety legislation and some of the most troubling issues in today’s workplaces, including employers’ approach to mental health.
Find out more about our London conference, at which Dave Smith of the Blacklist Support Group will also be signing copies of his book Blacklisted.