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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness
Work and mental health

Your rights at work

Understanding your employer's responsibilities

It would be great to think that all employers follow best practice, but sometimes you will need to know what your legal rights are at work. 

There are a number of advice lines where you can access general and specific advice according to your individual circumstances. 


Links to resources:

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Guidance for workers about their rights under the Equality Act 2010 includes rights to flexible working and reasonable adjustments.

Health and Safety Executive

This links to information on workers’ rights and employers responsibilities.  The resources section includes publications on sick leave entitlement.


Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance

This links to the Government website with information on entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance and other benefits.


Department for Work and Pensions – Sick note to Fit Note

From the 6 April 2010 the sick note was replaced by the fit note.  This section of the DWP website includes a guide for employees on the new system.  There are also links to more detailed advice for health professionals and also for employers.


Rethink advice and information service

Telephone advice line offering specialist advice in England and general guidance in the rest of the UK.



Operates two confidential mental health information services: MIND infoline and the legal advice unit.


MIND legal unit offers information and general advice (directly or through the Legal Advice Service) on the law in four key areas: mental health, mental capacity, community care, human rights and discrimination/equality related to mental health. It works with other mental health lawyers on significant impact cases. It undertakes some casework, but only specific cases which meet strict 'casework criteria'.


Community Legal Advice

This website offers free, confidential and independent legal advice for residents of England and Wales.  There is an employment section with information on topics including employees rights and health and safety at work.


Benefits and work

Aims to provide practical, detailed and accurate information about disability and incapacity benefits.  The website includes guides on Disability Living Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, medicals, sample letters etc.


Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice Bureau are independent charities providing advice and information across the UK.

Citizens Advice Bureau, Scotland

Citizens Advice Bureau, Northern Ireland


Trades Union Congress

The Health and Safety section of the website has resources/factsheets on topics such as risk, stress, bullying, pre-employment medicals.