How Can Employers Provide Working Parents Mental Health Support?

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With World Mental Health Day approaching on the 10 October, we look at the types of employee support working parents need. We also discuss how employers can provide working parents support, such as help with child care.

If your mental health is impacting your ability to work effectively, you might be entitled to reasonable adjustments. We explore what they are and the steps you could take if your rights are breached.

Redmans Solicitors can answer any questions you have and support you through the legal process if eligible. You can get in touch for expert advice today by:

What We Cover

  1. Do Employees Want Mental Health Support?
  2. How Employers Can Support Working Parents
  3. Can Working Parents Claim Compensation?
  4. Contact Our Team

Do Employees Want Mental Health Support?

Working Families, the national charity for working parents, outline the growing concern parents with jobs have regarding their mental health. They state that, according to a YouGov poll, 39% of parents with a child under 18 want workplace mental health support.

Additionally, their findings outline that 89% of parents believe flexible working arrangements would positively impact their well-being. This was emphasised by the fact that 70% said a good work-life balance was of major importance, more than better pay (65%).

READ: Flexible Working Bill Receives Royal Assent | Here’s How Businesses Can Prepare

Moreover, 30% of parents who work explained how they considered leaving their job because it’s not adequately family-friendly. 37% also didn’t agree that their employer understands their needs regarding caring responsibilities.

The findings of Working Families led them to conclude that if employers took simple steps to meet the different needs of employees, stress could be reduced and well-being improved. Since these discoveries highlight the importance of working parents’ support regarding mental health, we will now look at how employers can address this.

How Employers Can Support Working Parents

Because working parents value mental health support, employers should consider how they can best help their employees. There are several ways employers can better provide working parents support, which among other things include:

  1. Improved parental paid leave – This could provide health benefits for new parents by reducing financial pressures.
  2. Enhanced employee benefits packages – This might include medical insurance or employee assistance programmes (EAPs).
  3. More flexible working agreements – By allowing parents greater flexibility with their working patterns, they could more easily organise childcare around their jobs.

The above list isn’t exhaustive and there are several ways your employer could provide you support as a parent who works. It’s a good idea to find out what your employer currently offers and potentially see what more they could do. Below, we discuss the legal duty of care employers must provide in certain situations.

Are You Entitled To Reasonable Adjustments?

In addition to the above employee support, employers may need to offer reasonable adjustments. Under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), employers must make reasonable adjustments if a practice, physical feature or lack of equipment puts an eligible disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person.

The EqA 2010 outlines that a disability can be a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to function normally. Therefore, if your mental health substantially impacts your ability to work, you may qualify for reasonable adjustments to be made.

READ: Big Win for Parents and Carers: Three Laws Get Royal Assent

In such circumstances, if your employer is made aware of your disability, they are legally obligated to provide relevant reasonable adjustments. So, it’s important to inform them if your mental health is impacting your ability to work promptly. Because each person’s situation differs, the adjustments that would need to be made will vary too. However, factors like cost, effectiveness and practicality may be taken into account.

If you’re unsure whether you’re entitled to reasonable adjustments or how to request them, contact us using our details below. Our solicitors could help determine the eligibility of your case and advise you as to your next steps.

Can Working Parents Claim Compensation?

Should your employer refuse to provide reasonable adjustments you’re entitled to, they would be discriminating against a disabled person. In such circumstances, you may first want to consider making an informal or formal complaint to your employer. 

Supposing this fails, you could make a compensation claim to the employment tribunal. If you decide to take this route, you must ensure you adhere to the time limits. To learn more about making a disability discrimination claim or the time limits involved, contact us today. If your case is eligible, an employment lawyer from Redmans Solicitors might be able to help.

Contact Our Team

With World Mental Health Day around the corner, it’s important to reflect on the mental health of working parents. If you feel you aren’t getting the support you need from your employer, get in touch today for advice on your next steps.

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