39% of people claiming incapacity benefit do so because of mental ill health and yet 80% businesses have no adequate mental health policy. An online advice helpline aims to fill the gap
A national charity, the Shaw Trust, has launched the new initiative to deal with the work downtime caused by mental or behavioural disorder: an online helpline .
In the West Midlands, 39% of the 218,220 people claiming incapacity benefit fell into the category of mental ill health. Yet despite the scale of the problem, research by national charity Shaw Trust found a lack of awareness and resources to support workers and managers.
Tim Cooper, managing director of Shaw Trust, said: "Our survey of senior managers found that 80 per cent of businesses do not have a policy to deal with mental ill health and that a third use nothing, not even informal reviews, to measure stress in the workplace."
The charity has developed a new web-site which, for the first time, will provide employers and line managers with comprehensive, easy to understand advice. Mr Cooper said: "We passionately believe that everyone has the right to work and has a valuable contribution to make and are urging employers to log on and find out how they can help make a difference in the workplace."
The website covers everything from early warning signs of employees with mental health conditions, to how to talk to employ-ees with ill-health issues.