Mental Health in the Workplace HR Forum

Mental health is still one of the most misunderstood health issues by employers in the modern workplace. It often leads to hesitancy and uncertainty about how to help, and concern about managing employees suffering from such conditions.

With this in mind we held an HR Forum on Wednesday 13th April which focused on mental health. The morning was very kindly sponsored by Steeles Law, started in 1969 and now with offices in Norwich, Diss, and London they have achieved a number of qualifications and accreditations since then. They have teams specialising in a number of areas including commercial property, dispute resolution, employment, agriculture, education, and motorsport. Our expert speakers, Oliver Brabbins and Robert Hickford, were from their employment law team.

It was a very informative session with a number of case studies cited, these helped with myth-busting and gave real-world examples of how far you’re allowed to go as an employer when an employee experiences mental health issues. They also gave advice on what to look out for and the type of support you can give in order to help the employee and protect yourself as an employer to give delegates confidence with the topic.

Mental health in the workplace is a very interesting topic as the delegates discovered since there are a myriad of potential claims that could be made against an employer. The session gave an overview of how to deal with some issues and highlighted the fact that this changes depending on the nature of the claims and condition. Delegates left with a clear understanding that, in this area in particular, there is a need for medical expert intervention and advice and that the clarity of this advice is driven by the instructions received and the questions asked.

Overall it was a highly informative afternoon and there were a number of questions at the end which delegates were able to put to Oliver and Robert. These were mainly around clarifying points raised in the presentation and how to deal with issues specific to their businesses.

Thank you again to Steeles Law for sponsoring the afternoon and providing delegates with a lot of food for thought, if you have any questions about anything covered at the HR Forum please do not hesitate to get in touch with them. Also thank you to Norwich Mind for highlighting some of the great work they do, including their work with Great Yarmouth companies carrying out wellbeing audits.

As a member of the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce you have access to a free 24 hour advice line, a great first port of call for any HR questions, and a document library with over 400 free downloadable documents. If you have any questions about it or any other benefits of membership the team will be happy to answer any questions – 01603 625977 or

Join us at our next HR Forum Wednesday 19th June 2019.

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