Help with mental health and wellbeing at work
If you are an employer, you have a duty of care to do all you reasonably can to support your employees health, safety, and wellbeing, when at work.
Employers duty of care
An employers duty of care includes:
- Making sure the working environment is safe
- Protecting staff from discrimination
- Carrying out risk assessments
It’s important to realise that having a mental health issue can be considered a disability under the law (Equality Act 2010) if all the following apply:
- It has a ‘substantial adverse effect’ on the life of an employee; for example, they regularly cannot focus on a task, or it takes them longer to do
- It lasts at least 12 months or is expected to
- It affects their ability to do their normal day-to-day activities; for example, interacting with people, following instructions, or keeping to set working times.
Even if there are no symptoms all the time or symptoms are better at some times than at others, then it can still be considered a disability and legally employers are obliged to provide suitable support.
If an employee has a disability, employers:
- Must not discriminate against them because of their disability
- Must make reasonable adjustments
How can you help?
It’s a good idea to work with the employee to make the right adjustments for them, even if the issue is not a disability. Often simple changes to the persons working arrangements or responsibilities could be enough.
- Allowing them more rest breaks
- Working with them each day or more frequently to help prioritise their workload.
So, the first thing you need to do is to ensure you have established the right health and safety policies, procedures, and tools in place that your staffs can use. Creating the ‘right’ culture amongst your staff is essential if you are to embed effective health and safety systems.
There is plenty of local, regional, and national support available to help you do this.
Local Authority - Health and Wellbeing teams
Most local authorities across the country have teams that offer free support and encouragement to introduce or improve health and wellbeing solutions for businesses.
- Visit our Health and wellbeing section
The Work Health Hub
University of Derby have established a new online platform for organisations of any size and sector, that aims to meet all the mental health and wellbeing needs for the workforce. The Hub provides an annual membership underpinned by 6 pillars, ranging from online courses, a learning community, practical resources, the latest news and research, an invitation to attend 4 online events a year and access to a range of experts in the field. It will draw upon experiences from working with organisations across a variety of sectors via the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP).
Mind are a national charity that can provide information on what is available to support local businesses to find practical solutions, to support their employees with mental health and wellbeing strategies. These including useful guides and action plans such as; a manager’s guide and a check list for small business owners.
- website: Mind - Free resources for business
- website: People manager’s guide to mental health (PDF)
- website: Taking care of business - a checklist for small business owners (PDF)
Business in the Community - Free employer toolkits
Business in the Community have worked with Public Health England to develop a range of free employer toolkits. These can be used to support your employees in becoming more productive. These include:
- website: Business in the Community
- website: Health and wellbeing at work toolkit
- website: Mental health for employers toolkit
- website: Musculoskeletal health
- website: Suicide prevention
- website: Sleep and recovery
- website: Drugs, alcohol and tobacco
- website: Physical activity, healthy eating, and healthier weight
- website: Domestic abuse
You can also find additional resources here:
- website: Health matters: health and work - guidance - GOV.UK
- website: ACAS – Mental health and wellbeing
- website: Wellbeing @ Work - NottsHelpYourself.org.uk
Last updated: 22 November 2023