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Mental Health and discrimination at work

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

report published by the Mental Health and Income Commission has revealed new national polling figures based on responses from 2,000 people aged 18 and over. Those polling figures indicate that one fifth of people with mental health conditions in the UK have faced discrimination at work.

The report found that there is an income gap between those with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, and people without those conditions. Those in the former group typically earned £8,400 less per year than those in the latter group.

Related findings in the report note that only a minority of people with mental health conditions (15%) had requested reasonable adjustments at work. Of those who had, two-thirds (68%) said that their requests were either rejected, or only partly met.

To narrow the mental health income gap for the long term, the report recommended that employers should:

  • support the mental health and incomes of staff while furloughed and when they return, for instance, by signposting them to debt and income advice services
  • provide practical mental health training to all managers, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to better support employees
  • develop a list of reasonable adjustments and proactively offer them to employees
  • offer secondments, shadowing, volunteering and buddying opportunities; and
  • offer roles flexibly wherever possible, helping new and existing employees to work in ways suited to their individual needs and health considerations.

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