Workplace stress drives up disability discrimination claims by more than a third, employment law experts say

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The Government has also pledged to commit to the 40 recommendations of the Stevenson Farmer Review of mental health and employers, the independent review of mental health and the workplace published in October 2017, aiming to better support employees.

Furthermore, the abolition of tribunal fees in July 2017 helped lead to a wave of tribunal claims coming forward. Overall, in the last five years, the number of claims related to disability discrimination increased by 99%, up from 3,294 in 2012-13.

Emma Mamo, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, said: “It’s shocking to see that so many people feel that they’ve experienced disability discrimination in the workplace and have had to seek justice as a result through employment tribunals.”

Employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to any employee experiencing a disability under the Equality Act 2010, which can include a mental health problem if it has a substantial, adverse, and long term effect on normal day-to-day activities. However, in order to benefit from the protection of the Act, employees have to disclose their disabilities.

Ms Mamo added: “Unfortunately, many staff fear opening up if they’re struggling with issues like stress, anxiety and depression at work, worrying that their employer will see them as weak or unable to cope. But those of us with mental health problems can and do make a valuable contribution to the workplace, especially if our employer provides support when we need it.”

 



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