PM pledges mental health policy reform for workplace equality
Monday 8th May 2017
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Announcing the reforms, May said at the weekend the Conservatives would amend the Equality Act to protect those with mental health conditions from being discriminated against at work.
The plans would involve scrapping the current rule that protects employees from discrimination only if they have suffered from a mental illness continuously for more than 12 months, as this fails to take account of intermittent conditions such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.
A new Mental Health Treatment Bill would take the place of the existing Mental Health Act 1983 in an effort to tackle the overuse of police cells to detain vulnerable people without reason.
The pledge would also require large companies to train mental health first responders in addition to traditional first aiders, and would see 10,000 more staff hired to work in the NHS mental health services by 2020.
May said: "I am pledging to rip up the 1983 Act and introduce in its place a new law which finally confronts the discrimination and unnecessary detention that takes place too often. We are going to roll out mental health support to every school in the country, ensure that mental health is taken more seriously in the workplace, and raise standards of care with 10,000 more mental health professionals working in the NHS by 2020."
The move has been welcomed by training provider Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, whose chief executive Poppy Jaman, said: "MHFA England has a mission to train one in ten of the population in mental health first aid skills and the working population will be an important audience to reach if we are to achieve that goal. First aiders are a legal requirement in workplaces and schools and we believe that mental health should be treated equally to physical health."
The chief executive of mental health charity Mind, Paul Farmer, added: "Mental health is one of the biggest domestic issues facing the next government. More people than ever are speaking out about mental health and demanding change. As a nation our expectations for better mental health for all are higher than ever and the next government must rise to this challenge."
The poll of almost 13,000 UK employees shows that, on average, public sector staff had taken nearly three days off sick in the last year because of problems with their mental health, compared with less than one day on average for workers in the private sector.Forty-eight per cent of the public sector workforce reported taking time off work due to mental health issues, while less than a third (32%) of workers in the private sector did the same.
The device, which is a common feature on trams across the UK and Europe, is designed to activate when the driver fails to maintain pressure on the lever that increases the tram’s speed. To pick up speed, drivers have to apply 0.68 kg of pressure on the lever. If the pressure is not maintained, an alarm should sound and an emergency brake be applied.
The court replaced Norman McKenzie’s suspended sentence with a custodial one which, it said, would act as a warning to the construction industry that offenders of gross negligence who put workers’ lives at risk would be sent to prison. Portadown farm owner Ivan Reilly had contracted McKenzie to assist with the construction of a three-bay farm shed at his premises.
The Stop. Make a Change campaign is thought to be the largest stand-down event in UK construction and will see 60,000 workers halt work to discuss mental health, plant safety, fatigue and respiratory illness.Since the initiative was launched in November 2016, more than 50 organisations, including construction leaders BAM Nuttall, Balfour Beatty, Costain, Morgan Sindall and Skanska, have signed up.
An electric tug was towing the trolley through the yard at JCB’s headquarters in Rochester, Staffordshire on 16 October 2013. At the same time, a DHL employee was auditing incoming deliveries nearby.Stafford Crown Court was told that the trolley fell on its side and struck the worker, pinning him to a stillage. He sustained fractures and internal injuries. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found there was no system to segregate vehicles operating the warehouse from both DHL and JCB workers who were on foot.
The 2017 edition of Death on the Job: the toll of neglect showed that 4,836 people died at work in 2015, a rate of 3.4 per 100,000 workers. This rate is identical to 2014 and slightly higher than the rate of 3.3 recorded in 2013, when 4,585 people died. The rate for 2015 was the same as the five-year annual average. However, over the last ten years the fatality rate has almost halved (4.2 in 2006) as the number of work deaths decreased by just under 1,000.