Report calls for better mental health support in the workplace

Farmer said: 'We found that in many workplaces, mental health is still a taboo subject and that opportunities are missed to prevent poor mental health and ensure employees who many be struggling get the support they need. The review however focuses on a number of mental health standards that can be adopted across all workplaces at little or no cost and urges employers of all sizes to commit to these six core standards around mental health.

The report made a list of recommendations about how employers and the government can better support employees that are suffering. Mental health problems are the second greatest cause of workplace sickness'.

Lord Stevenson added: 'It's time for every employer to recognise their responsibilities and affect change, so that the United Kingdom becomes a world leader in workplace wellbeing for all staff and in supporting people with mental health problems to thrive at work'.

An embattled prime minister may be given to wondering about her legacy.

The Government has now announced both the Civil Service and the National Health Service - two of the largest United Kingdom employers - will abide by the report's recommendations. Most absence issues can and should be managed without the need for escalating matters.

The report urged the government to "consider legislative change to enhance protections for employees with mental health conditions, particularly fluctuating mental health conditions, and clarify the role of employers in providing reasonable adjustments".

Around 6% of people with a long-term mental health condition lose their job each quarter - amounting to 300,000 people each year - compared with 4% of those with a physical health condition.

The authors conclude: "At a time when there is a national focus on productivity, the inescapable conclusion is that it is massively in the interest of both employers and Government to prioritise and invest far more in improving mental health".

It includes a detailed analysis that explores the significant cost of poor mental health to United Kingdom businesses and the economy as a whole.

The recommendations include creating a mental health work plan and building awareness about mental health; encouraging good working conditions, a healthy work-life balance and regular open conversations about staff health and well-being; routinely monitoring employee mental health and promoting effective people management.

The mechanics of a return-to-work programme.

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