On 22 November 2018, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care published Voluntary Reporting on Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing, a framework to support employers to report voluntarily on disability, mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Lodders’ head of Employment, Nick Rowe, explains.
The framework is aimed at large employers with over 250 employees but can be used by smaller employers who are keen to drive greater transparency in their organisations. The framework recommends that employers produce a narrative explaining the action they have taken to recruit and retain disabled employees and to support the mental health and wellbeing of their employees.
The framework has been produced following the recommendation in Thriving at work: the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers that employers should report more information about their actions on workplace mental health on a voluntary basis. In November 2017, when it published Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability, the government announced its intention to act on the Stevenson/Farmer recommendation. It would increase transparency through a framework for large employers for voluntary reporting on not only mental health but also disability.
When reporting disabilities, organisations should state the percentage of workers who consider themselves to be disabled and set out how they support their disabled employees.
Questions including, “How satisfied are you with your job?”, “How would you rate your overall mental health now?”, and “How anxious did you feel yesterday?”, will provide a starting point for employers looking to measure the wellbeing of their employees, the framework says. Data can be collected using methods such as anonymous staff surveys and updated self-service HR records.
“This reflects the growing focus and attention that is being given to mental health, well-being and disability in the workplace and demonstrates what a welcome and growing awareness of these issues is” explains Nick.
“Transparency on these issues is being encouraged and, it is felt, can only help to remedy what is currently, in many cases, an unacceptable sense of apathy towards them.”
Lodders’ team of employment solicitors offer accurate, focused and solution-based legal advice to a wide range of clients. We have forged an excellent reputation for advising SME’s, publicly owned companies, charities and other bodies; as well as senior employees in respect of all manner of employment related issues, including handling disabilities and mental health issues inside (and outside) the workplace.