Employers – mental health responsibilities

The law clearly states that employers are responsible for the physical and mental safety of their employees while they are at work. Employers have a moral and legal duty of care to their employees, which means taking all necessary steps to look after their health, safety, and wellbeing.

There is no one statute specifically and exclusively covering the issue of stress in the workplace. The law governing stress has, in the main, evolved from case law rather than legislation.

Examples of legislation which have a potential impact on this area include:

  • The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The disability discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Fatal Accidents Act 1976

The complexity of mental health makes it a challenge for line management, who are often at the frontline of supporting colleagues and offering additional support.

There are many factors that will contribute to mental health problems. Not understanding these or listening to your workforce could prove to be very costly to the individual and the business.

Matt Gingell, a specialist London employment lawyer, talks at the Shard about employers’ mental health responsibilities and what potential claims employees could bring.

Read more:

Employer duty of care

Stress in the workplace