Most employers will be sympathetic and do everything they can to help the people in their organisation. Employers also have legal duties around mental health, particularly where someone has been clearly identified as having a mental health difficulty, e.g. through a GP or other health professional’s diagnosis.
People with a clearly identified mental health difficulty will generally have legal protections under the Equality Act 2010. This means that:
Whether the Equality Act applies or not, it is still good practice for employers to make reasonable adjustments to support staff who need it.
“Reasonable” means an adjustment that is effective for you without being too disruptive, costly or impractical for the employer to provide.
“Reasonable adjustments” could include such things as:
If you are discussing your mental health with your employer, it will be helpful to think if there are reasonable adjustments they could make to allow you to work at your best.
If your mental wellbeing is creating real challenges, your employer can help you to create a clear plan about the support that you need. A Wellness Action Plan helps to set out clearly how any difficulties with mental health are affecting work and what you and your employer can both do. It should cover:
If you think this would be helpful, ask your employer to make time where you can work through your plan.
You can download copies of the Wellness Action Plan from the MIND website:
Download Wellness Action Plan from the MIND website
From time to time you might need extra support with your mental health. We’ve listed some key support organisations who can help.
In partnership with mental health charity Penumbra we have compiled two guides to accompany this web resource. These will help you to find ways to talk to your employer and support your own mental health at work.
You have the right to be treated fairly at work. The Fair Work Convention supports your employer to make sure you have a voice, opportunity, security, fulfilment and respect.
We are grateful to mental health charity Penumbra for providing advice and information on mental health for this resource. If you need support, you should contact your GP or professional mental-health support organisation.