Day-to-day life can be challenging.
When things get tough, people get ill. Both physically and mentally.
Unfortunately for one hairdresser in the UK, her struggle with mental illness lead to her employer sacking her.
The unnamed woman was diagnosed with anxiety in April 2017. When she told the salon owner she’d been advised to take some time off work, she was met with the reply that the salon “didn’t do” sick days.
After returning to work, she was labelled a liability by her boss, claiming her “head was all over the place”. Not long after she was told to pack up and leave.
After arguing the unlawful sacking in court, the apprentice hairdresser was awarded £6,312.
These days, more people than ever are being diagnosed with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
According to ‘No Panic’, a charity that deals specifically with people who suffer from Panic Attacks and anxiety disorders, in 2013 alone there 8.2 million cases of anxiety. The charity mind state that 1 in 6 workers are dealing with mental health problems which could stop people from performing at their best.
In UK law, mental health is treated as a disability, which makes it a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. Therefore, from a legal perspective, a productivity perspective and for the health of any company, it’s important that mental health is treated correctly. Here’s how:
- Reduce stress levels in the office – Remove as best you can any stress indicators that may be lurking in your offices. This one is simple but can be very easily overlooked.
- Ensure employees take measures to manage stress levels – Communicate how important it is that your staff manage their stress levels and be flexible in helping them do so. If they have certain methods, allow them time off to do so.
- Give your employees some distractions – Work should be fun. Having activities such as classes or workshops in which staff can relieve tension and forget about the stresses of home and work-life, even for a short amount of time, can really benefit the health of your employees.
For tips on how to destress yourself and others, check out these 20 tips from the Huffington Post.
For the legal side of things, its really important you brush up your knowledge on dismissals and mental illness.
Personnel today have some really helpful advice on the legal aspect of things that you can find here.
Alternatively, it might be worth brushing up your knowledge with a CIPD qualification. DPG offer a range of programmes that could broaden your knowledge and adaptability when it comes to dealing with a range of issues like this. You can find there here.