In October 2017, “Thriving at work: the Stephenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers” was published.
Following this, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care have published a framework to support employers to voluntarily report disability, mental health and wellbeing in their workforce.
The framework is entirely voluntary in nature and aimed at larger employers with over 250 employees. However, smaller employers are also encouraged to engage with the framework as well.
The purpose of the framework is to drive transparency in organisations. Employers are encouraged to provide a narrative explaining the action taken to recruit and retain disabled employees and provide support in relation to mental health and wellbeing in the workforce.
The Stephenson/Farmer review suggested that poor mental health was costing employers between £33 billion and £42 billion per year (namely in relation to sick leave, staff turnover and impact on productivity).
It appears that the issues of disability and mental health and wellbeing is increasingly under the spotlight and it is possible that reporting will become mandatory in the future (although this is not suggested at present). Employers may decide to voluntarily report as a point of best practice and to demonstrate transparency and a commitment to addressing issues arising out of disability and mental health in their workplace. Further guidance regarding reporting is to be published shortly.