Stress, depression and anxiety could amount to disabilities requiring reasonable adjustments
According to the World Health Organisation ‘health’ is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Employers wishing to achieve the highest levels of productivity and performance from their staff should consider not just health but also employee well-being, which encompasses a much wider range of factors, including mental health.
Deborah Warren discusses why Employees need to take notice of mental health.
It is often more difficult for employers to identify mental health conditions than physical impairments, even though the former are more common. According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year.
Organisations should monitor the health of employees to ensure any long term health complaints are identified early. The article also talks about how employers have positive obligations to make reasonable adjustments to assist employees suffering. Discrimination issues arising from disabilities are complex and employers should take legal advice to ensure that they act within legal parameters. However, the benefits of supporting employee well-being are well documented and will increase productivity and save cost. A survey looking at UK health, well-being and productivity conducted by Towers Watson found that businesses which implement a health and well-being programme achieve 27 per cent higher productivity.
Deborah Warren is an associate at law firm Clarion.