When you hear someone refer to discrimination in the workplace, it is often expected that this refers to someone’s race or gender. However, there are many forms of discrimination and none of them are acceptable.
In 2020, many people are more aware of their mental health and are actively trying to change the way that they think. But, what happens if your employer discriminates against you as a direct result of your struggles with mental health? Read on to hear more about this important topic.
What Is Mental Health Discrimination?
If you are familiar with the Equality Act 2010, you’ll be aware of the fact that disabled people are protected from unfair treatment in the place. It is illegal for anyone to be treated unfairly due to a physical or mental illness, whether by an employer, or a hiring body. If this occurs, then it may be treated as discrimination.
In order for this kind of treatment to be considered discrimination, however, the mental illness must be a “long-term impairment which has a substantial negative effect on your ability to carry out everyday activities”. This usually means that you have suffered from your disability for at least 12 months.
What Counts as Discrimination?
Some people are unsure what actually counts as discrimination and so it is important to understand exactly what this entails. Usually, it will be something like missing out on a promotion because you are seen as less reliable than other employees in your workplace. Your mental health is not something that you can change and so you should not miss out on things as a direct result of it. It is also worth noting that indirect discrimination – such as a workplace policy that conflicts with your needs as an employee – can also be something that occurs.
What to Do
If you think that you are a victim of mental health discrimination, you should make sure to find employment solicitors that can help. Some solicitors specialise in this area, and can help you to get the result that you need. Even if you are not looking for any kind of financial claim, you will want to make sure that you are not treated unfairly for the foreseeable future. With the right solicitor, you can take proactive steps toward creating a safe and comfortable working environment that supports your health requirements.
It is important to note that your employer might not be aware of your mental illness, and so you should make sure to discuss the matter with them first. If this does not resolve the situation, you might want to take some additional steps.
As you can see, mental health discrimination is a very serious matter and it must be addressed by those who are involved. If you think that you are being discriminated against as a direct result or indirect result of your mental health issues, you should seek advice from a friend or a solicitor. Make sure to look out for this kind of discrimination in your workplace and support those who might be going through it.