Wednesday, 27 March 2019 09:48

Mental Health Seminar - 20 March 2019

Having held our Mental Health Seminar last week, it’s clear that employers’ responsibilities regarding the mental wellbeing of their employees is an issue that will continue to be at the forefront of HR and Employment Law for some time to come. Already a concern for many businesses, the view of speakers during the seminar was that more preparation is needed to prevent poor mental health escalating into a significant risk for employers. There is plenty we can do however.

Following a presentation from Abbie Warren of the day’s nominated charity, Sunshine Suicide Support, delegates heard from a variety of presenters who covered a wide range of topics associated with mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. As you might expect, presentations were sprinkled with various facts and figures, some of which were quite shocking and brought the scale of the mental health issue in the UK to the fore.

Statistics shared included:

  • In the last 6 years the number of working days in the UK lost to stress, depression and anxiety has increased by 24% and now stands at over 15 million - Mental Health Foundation
  • Mental health problems at work cost employers £33bn-£42bn - Centre for Mental Health 2018
  • And the total impact on the UK economy ranges between £74 and £99 billion - UK Govt. Thriving at Work 2017
  • 33% of employees have been diagnosed with a mental health issue - Mental Health at Work 2018 Report
  • And 1 in 5 people take a day off work due to stress - Mental Health Foundation
  • 10% of managers reported sick for stress & Mental health issues during 2018 - CMI, 2018

From a legal perspective, delegates heard from Anne-Marie Boyle, partner at Menzies Law – Specialist Employment Lawyers, who clearly set out the legal viewpoint around mental health and disability in general.

As mental health conditions can be classed as disability, Anne-Marie’s presentation covered definitions of disability and impairment and went on to explain the types of claim that could arise from somebody with a disability. Apart from the obvious unfavourable treatment from an employer, bullying, harassment and victimisation from colleagues were also highlighted as risk areas that remain the responsibility of the employer.

After lunch, presenters from HR Champions took the floor, tackling the subject of managing mental health conditions in the workplace. Whilst we looked at the practical aspects of managing absence and making reasonable adjustments, we also discussed employee wellbeing in general and how to spot the signs of and deal with potential mental health issues before they got out of hand.

We finished the afternoon session studying a range of case studies to give delegates a flavour of how mental health conditions actually manifest themselves in the workplace and the impact this can have upon employers.

Altogether the seminar we exceptionally well received with plenty of praise and thanks to all presenters. Our nominated charity for the day, Sunshine Suicide Support was the beneficiary of 100% of the attendance fee charged to delegates, a sum of over £1,000.

Keep an eye on our events page at https://hrchampions.co.uk/events for details of future events including our new mental health training courses.


Read 2054 times Last modified on Wednesday, 27 March 2019 09:57


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





We are located in Gloucester in the West of the UK close to the M4 and M5 corridors. For a precise map and directions find us on Google Maps

We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.