• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • Mental health challenge facing HR professionals

    Analysis by HR and diversity consultancy the Clear Company has found that HR professionals will on average oversee 15 staff with mental health issues.

    The findings were based on existing data-sets, with figures from XpertHR showing the median number of employees per HR practitioner was 62.5 in 2016, with approximately one in four people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem during a year according to mental health charity, Mind.

    However, according to a recent study by Legal & General less than 10 per cent of employees feel comfortable disclosing mental health conditions to their employer, meaning that HR may face a challenge in supporting these individuals adequately.

    “HR professionals are required to assist employees with mental health conditions under the Equality Act 2010. However, low levels of disclosure continue to be a barrier to support,” commented Kate Headley, director at the Clear Company.

    “With this in mind, HR strategists should look at ways to foster a culture of openness which actively encourages staff to share their needs on an ongoing basis so that they can be fully supported.

    “Reasonable adjustments for candidates and employees with mental health conditions may include; support with managing workload, flexible hours to allow for periods of rest, a desk in a quiet area of the office to help manage anxiety, time off work to attend appointments or a little extra time to make decisions to help manage stress.

    “Ultimately, no one is in a better position than the person living with a mental health condition to determine what support they need – but HR can only get the ball rolling once lines of communication are opened.”


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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