Since mental health conditions impact 1 in 5 people, many businesses will likely have employees living with mental health illnesses. There are now various laws in place that provide guidelines on what actions employers need to take when it comes to terminating an employee with mental health issues. In the UK, employees are protected by the law to prevent their dismissal because of mental health issues.
Since terminating an employee with mental health issues is a complex problem both from a moral and legal standpoint, this article will offer you some useful things to know when confronted with this situation.
Approaching mental health issues at work
As an employer, you could easily be unsure of how to handle mental health issues in the workplace. On one hand, you may lack the mental health background to fully understand how to tackle problems in this area. On the other hand, you have a legal duty to ensure that your employees are protected from harm at work. Moreover, you also have organisational goals that you want them to meet as part of their duties.
The best way to approach mental health issues at work is to understand that they can happen to anyone. The same way anyone could get in an accident that occurs outside their control, so can mental health deteriorate without someone’s will. People are vulnerable to a lot of stressors these days, which can make or break them. Keep in mind that before you consider any legal or HR matters when it comes to terminating an employee with mental health issues, you are first dealing with a vulnerable human being who needs your support during a difficult time in their life.
Some things that can impact an employee’s mental health are:
- Life changes – divorce, moving house, change in family dynamics
- Chronic and acute illness
- Death of a loved one
- Past traumas
Before you consider terminating an employee with mental health issues, see if the problem can be ameliorated with mental health support. Therapy is an excellent tool for treating mental illness, and employees can greatly benefit from it. Thanks to digital mental health providers like SupportRoom, employees can now access therapy at any time and from anywhere. Bringing online mental health support into your workplace can be one of the greatest forms of care you can show your employees.