Equality. It’s a topic we see in the news most days, but is it something that’s on the daily agenda in your organisation?
Our world becomes more culturally diverse each week, and as such, so do workplaces. Therefore, as managers it’s essential that you know exactly how to maintain a supportive, harmonious workforce in which everyone is treated fairly.
The Equality Act 2010
Let’s start by looking at The Equality Act 2010. This set of laws were implemented by the UK government to protect the rights of individuals in society, regardless of their age, race, gender, status, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
While it’s all good and well stating on your website and comms that your organisation abides by the Equality Act 2010, employers must know exactly how it works in practice, and importantly where employee mental health comes into it.
Mental illness equals disability
Did you know that if your people have a particular mental health condition, they could be classed as disabled?
Mental illnesses that effect an individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (both in the workplace and at home), such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder are considered a disability. And this list isn’t exhaustive, there are many other conditions that fall under the remit.
The key thing for employers is to ensure that their staff are by no means treated unfairly by anyone in the organisation because of their mental health.
Disability should not equal discrimination
Discriminating an employee because they have a mental health problem not only goes against The Equality Act, but it can also make matters worse for the individual and add to their condition.
Businesses must be completely clued up on the different types of discrimination and the situations where they can be held liable. To help you understand, here’s a couple of mental health in the workplace related examples…