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Mental health: A new pandemic?

Mental Health

Employers are having to deal with mental health issues within their organisations increasingly especially during Covid. This is becoming apparent when analysing sick leave data.

Many people ‘sweep’ mental health under the carpet however we decided it prudent to make employers aware of their responsibilities which are outlined below.

Employers have a duty in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure a safe working environment for their employees and this means being aware of the impact that stress can place on the performance of your employees.

Employer responsibilities include:

  • Education and awareness surrounding mental illness
  • Ensuring employees are not discriminated against because of a mental illness
  • Actively checking on their employees state of wellbeing and looking for cues which may indicate a struggling employee
  • Investigating reasons behind poor performance
  • evaluating an employee’s capability to perform some / all of their functions
  • if stress is impairing performance, how can they be relieved or accommodated within the workplace
  • Identify ways to support the employee outside of the workplace, where possible (provide solutions)
  • Adopt a proactive approach to implementing policies which support and acknowledge mental illnesses
  • Promote a balanced work / home life