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Mental health ‘should be a priority in the workplace’

Employers should ensure all managers are given training in relation to mental health, an employment and HR law expert has advised.  Anthony Fox, solicitor in the Employment & HR team at regional law firm Napthens, warned that current figures show just a quarter of managers reported receiving any training on mental health.

Now he is urging businesses to improve training and help senior staff spot and deal with any issues before they escalate.

According to statistics from leading charity Business in the Community, three out of every five employees had experienced mental health issues due to work, with those aged between 18 and 38 feeling the most stress at work.

Only 14 per cent of people reported that they felt comfortable speaking to their manager about their stress levels.

Anthony warned: “These figures are alarming, and an indication of why mental health training is so important for businesses.

“However, this training should sit alongside a culture of openness within the business by encouraging staff to talk about any issues without fear of reprisals. Staff should not be worried about talking to managers about these issues.

“It’s important to ensure your managers keep on top of mental health issues, as there is the possibility that mental health issues could amount to a disability, something which is covered by another set of important legal regulations, the Equality Act 2010, which places additional obligations on employers.”