date: 15 May 2008
embargo: 00.01hrs Friday 16 May 2008
The TUC today (Friday) is publishing new guidance to help employers and unions support people with mental health problems at work, in advance of the TUC's annual disability conference next week (21 and 22 May).
Every organisation in Britain is affected by mental distress and ill health in the workplace, and at any given time one in six workers will experience depression, anxiety, or stress-related problems. Simple steps - including the prevention and early identification of mental health problems - can promote the mental well-being of staff and help employers save money by cutting down on days lost to sick leave.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Hundreds and thousands of people at work face ignorance, prejudice and stigma because of mental health problems. Even more - who are both able and willing to work - cannot get a job because of discrimination by employers, even though this is illegal under the Disability Discrimination Act.
'This report provides union reps with the information they need to help people with mental health problems keep their jobs and develop their careers. It will help unions work out how to make adjustments in the workplace for people with these health problems, and help employers keep their valuable and skilled staff.'
The report, produced with Disability Forward Ltd, recommends that unions work with employers to encourage job applications from people with mental health issues and that they urge individuals to disclose any mental health problems they may have.
Other things unions can do to ensure workplaces are supportive include:
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The TUC Disability Conference takes place from Wednesday 21 May to Thursday 22 May at Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS.
- Speakers include: Roger Berry MP; Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Trevor Phillips; Disability Benefits Consortium representative Sue Christoforou; Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Communications and Diversity Manager, Liz Crossley; NUJ representative, Stephen Brookes; and Disability Forward Limited Director, Michelle Valentine.
- The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health states: 'At any one time one worker in six will be experiencing depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress' (Mental Health at Work: Developing the business case).
- For more information on the Disability Discrimination Act please visit www.tuc.org.uk
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
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Press release (600 words) issued 16 May 2008
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/equality/tuc-14781-f0.cfm
printed 24 May 2013 at 19:07 hrs by 220.127.116.11