In addition to the legal risks, there are the practical difficulties that come with managing people who are genuinely not well, or not attending work or not responding to reasonable requests.
We decided to undertake a survey of our clients to get a better picture of the challenges they are facing in this regard and the data certainly mirrors their anecdotal concerns. In summary, our report has eight main findings, which we have elaborated on in the body of this report:
There are many more detailed studies into mental health and we would be delighted to point you in the right direction if you're looking for more reading, but most address the issue from the perspective of the employee. The beyondblue "State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia" is one such example. Among the sobering statistics in that study are the findings that only 52% of employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy and only 56% believe their most senior leaders value mental health.
We hope our findings offer some insights into managing mental health from an organisational perspective. Some of this information will be a surprise, some data may support what is being observed in the workplace. Regardless, we hope our report enables employers to benchmark their workplace and provides either evidence that it is implementing best practice strategies or provides the necessary information to drive the changes required to improve the management of mental health in the workplace.