Health & Wellbeing
Health & Safety at Work
You must make sure your employees have a safe place to work. If you have 5 employees or more (which may include the owner or Directors), you must have a Health & Safety Statement (or policy).
ForHR can help you put the basics in place; we are not experts in the area, but we have access to people who are!
Mental Health at Work
You can’t have failed to see many articles on this subject, since the number of people with mental health issues is growing and poor mental health is increasingly affecting employers.
ForHR can help you decide what, if anything, you should do for your employees and help you understand ways of stopping it becoming a problem for you.
Stress is a major cause of poor mental health at work and we can help you look at whether your environment is causing your staff to suffer from stress or mental health problems. We can provide information and help your staff understand how to look after their own mental health.
If you have any employees who have been absent a long time, or who re frequently absent, you may need a medical opinion on when they might return or how much they are likely to be off. You might need help with assessing health risks in the workplace; or information on what adjustments you could make to help someone with a disability; or information on how to help your employees live healthily. ForHR can help you find pragmatic, helpful occupational health specialists who can provide you with this kind of support.
Employee Assistance Programmes
An EAP provides confidential information, support and counselling to staff with personal or work-related issues (the company is not given information on individuals). The service is available around the clock by telephone or online. A comprehensive EAP also provides access to face-to-face counselling if necessary. An EAP can also support an employer; as well as providing advice to line managers, it can produce anonymous management information to help an employer identify and tackle workplace issues.
Normally, an employee under stress can call a phone number to get immediate help from a professional counsellor on topics like:
- Workplace personality conflicts – advice and suggestions on how to work with a difficult manager or colleagues.
- Drug addiction – advice on how to deal with the employee’s addiction, or how to deal with a family member’s addiction.
- Mental health issues – depression, anxiety, anger management or other needs an employee or their family members may be dealing with.
- Health and caregiving issues – how best to manage return to work issues after illness, or how to manage a disability or medical issue at work, or how to obtain help for an ill or elderly relative.
- Legal and family advice – marriage counselling, divorce, or child custody issues.
- Financial counselling – how to avoid bankruptcy, or how to pay down credit card debt, or create a budget.
- Grief assistance – Support for employees who have lost a loved one as well as for employees experiencing the loss of a colleague, or a significant event such as a death at work.
ForHR can help you select an employee Assistance programme, if you feel it would be beneficial for your business.
Disability and Reasonable Adjustments
The Equality Act 2010 says that a person is ‘disabled’ if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. ‘Long-term’ means that the condition must last, or be likely to last, for more than 12 months, or is likely to last for the rest of the life of the person affected.
Individuals with cancer, multiple sclerosis or HIV/AIDS are covered from the date of diagnosis, regardless of the impact that the illness is having on their life at the time of diagnosis. The definition of disability is therefore very broad. This means that many other conditions could also potentially be covered, including, for example, chronic fatigue syndrome, schizophrenia, arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, dyslexia, severe nut allergies, eczema and depression.
Employers have a responsibility to make adjustments to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability. They are required to understand the barriers an employee is experiencing and put adjustments in place to resolve them. Employers should involve the employee in discussions about adjustments although the duty to make adjustments is ultimately the employer’s.
The legal requirement is to make adjustments that are ‘reasonable’. This duty falls to the organisation as a whole, not just a line manager in a department, so the resources (including finances and equipment) of the whole organisation need to be taken into account when deciding what is ‘reasonable’.
This can be a complex area and ForHR can help you make these decisions.
For further information on Reasonable Adjustments, see our factsheet.