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It pays to support employees with a range of health problems –
including mental health problems. Identify the impact health
problems may have on work performance and make adjustments that
will allow your employee to work to the best of their ability.
Looking after the health of employees and protecting them from
harm in the workplace is a legal requirement. The risks to
employees’ health can arise from psychological as well as physical
hazards, so it makes sense to ensure that your organisation puts
the right policies and processes in place to manage these risks and
to support your employees. There is also good evidence that
investing in building a healthy workplace makes economic sense. It
protects and increases the productivity of your employees by
reducing staff absence as well as staff presenteeism where staff
turn up to work but perform below their best. The
11th annual survey by the Chartered Institute of
Personnel Development (CIPD) of almost 600 organisations shows that
presenteeism and reported mental health conditions have increased
as a result of the recession. CIPD point out that ‘Failure by
organisations to address employees’ concerns may lead to mental
health problems and costly longer-term consequences.’
If you support employees with mental ill-health to stay in work,
this may aid their recovery and it may reduce the likelihood that
you have to recruit new staff with all the costs that this
Research suggests that employers underestimate how many people
are affected by mental ill-health and one consequence is that most
employers do not have effective policies to deal with employees’
mental health. Price Waterhouse Coopers make the case that
employers who do support employees with long-term or fluctuating
health conditions, like mental health conditions, may have a
competitive advantage over their rivals when it comes to attracting
and retaining talented employees.
Practical guides for line managers
This is an initiative to tackle stigma and discrimination
surrounding mental health issues in England. The campaign aims to
create a society where people who experience mental health problems
enjoy the same rights and opportunities as other people. The
website has links specifically for employers. The line
managers resource is a practical guide to managing and supporting
people with mental health problems in the workplace. There is
a section specifically on ‘Keeping in touch during sickness
absence’ which includes tips on supporting an employee who
is off sick.
Forum on Disability
‘A Practical guide to managing sickness absence’ and
‘Non-visible disabilities line manager guide’ includes guidance on
keeping in touch during sick leave agreements.
Safety Executive (HSE)
The HSE with CIPD and ACAS has developed a toolkit
aimed at small and medium sized businesses to help you to manage
sickness absence. It has information on absence management
practices and procedures that line managers can pick and choose
information from. It is split into four parts to help managers:
This links to information on workers’ rights and
employers responsibilities. The resources section
includes publications on sick leave entitlement.
Chartered Institute of Personnel Development
Survey Report 2010, Absence Management
This report of the 11th annual survey carried out among
573 organisations. The report provides benchmarking data for
organisations on absence levels and the cost and causes of
absence. This year there are topical sections about employee
wellbeing and the effect of the economic climate on absence. These
sections highlight the vital need for organisations to manage
employee absence effectively. The report includes two case studies
which focus on early interventions to minimise absence.
health and work
Royal College of Psychiatrists, Health, Work and
This review was commissioned by the cross government Health,
Work and Wellbeing Programme. This report includes a section
on the effect of stigma and discrimination in the workplace.
It includes quotes from people with mental health conditions, some
of whom have been treated well at work and the effect on others
when the necessary adjustments have not been made to aid their
return to work.
Please note that we are unable to offer advice on individual cases. Please see our
advice on getting help.
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