Happiness and Resilience on this UN International Day of Happiness

At this time of national challenge, and the unprecedented impact that the Coronavirus will have on working practices,  we at Watson Ramsbottom want you to know that we’ve Got Your Back.  We are here to support both businesses and employees and how best to navigate the changing employment law climate.

Vina Madhavji, our Employment Law Solicitor writes about Resilience and  the ’win-win’ impact of promoting Wellbeing at the Workplace.

The UN General Assembly Resolution 66/281 proclaims 20 March as the  UN International Day of Happiness and recognises happiness as a fundamental human goal. Resolution 66/281 recognizes “ the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives…

Furthermore, resolution 66/281 recognises the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples”

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

Advice for Employers: It Reaps Dividends to Promote Positive Mental Health

  • Actively promote positive mental health in the workplace; according to the ACAS, mental ill health costs employers in the UK £30 billion every year through lost production, recruitment and absence.
  • Staff with positive mental health are likely to more enthusiastic, committed and productive in the workplace, which inevitably propels the success and profitability of your business.
  • ACAS provides the following suggestions to create a working environment where staff feel safe to speak able to speak openly about mental health:-
  1. Treat mental and physical health as equally important
  2. Ensure that employees have regular one-to-one meetings with their manager to speak about any concerns
  3. Arranging mental health awareness training through workshops and training.

For further information, see the following links on the ACAS website

Advice for Employees: Your ‘Health is your Wealth’

  • Take responsibility for your mental health and make it a priority. There is some fantastic advice on this NHS page ‘5 steps to mental well-being’ emphasising the strength that human connection can enable within you.
  • If you have a mental health issue that is considered to be a ‘disability’ under the law then your employer must not discriminate against you because of your disability. Where your condition meets the legal definition of disability then your Employer  must consider making reasonable adjustments.  A disability is any physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.An example of a ‘substantial adverse effect’ on your life might be for example if it takes you longer to do a task, or you cannot regularly focus on a task. In order the fall within the definition of ‘long term adverse effect’ the mental health issue must have lasted for at least 12 months or be expected to; furthermore you will need to show that it affects your ability to do ‘day to day activities’ (for example interacting with others, following instructions or keeping to set working times).
  • Your employer has a ‘duty of care’ to do all that they reasonably can to support your health, safety and well-being including to ensure that your working environment is safe and that you are protected from discrimination.
  • If you are not happy with an issue, raise the issue with your employer and ask for help and support. Keep a paper trail of your requests for help  so that if the matter cannot be resolved informally you can later evidence your requests for support.

If you need advice at this time on any employment issue, we can help. Call Vina on 01254 31 12 82 or complete our online enquiry form and one of our experts will contact you.

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