October 10 marked World Mental Health Day and it’s a reminder to businesses to abide by their legal obligations to avoid discrimination claims.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 makes it illegal to discriminate against, harass or victimise people with disabilities and this includes mental health issues.
According to the Act it includes people with, “a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour”.
It also covers people who may have had a mental health condition temporarily, permanently, in the past, in the present or in the future.
The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance says discrimination can occur during the recruitment process, when determining terms and conditions of employment and in selecting or rejecting employees for promotion, transfer, training, dismissal, demotion or retrenchment.
The Alliance says the Act is worded in such a way that if an employer fails to make reasonable adjustments for a worker with a mental health condition it may constitute discrimination, even when on the face of it no ‘direct’ discrimination has occurred.
Employers must also adhere to WHS and privacy laws when dealing with mental health conditions in the workplace.
HR professionals will learn about a range of HR and IR issues at the inaugural HR Link quarterly briefing on November 14.
CCI’s expert workplace consulting and employee relations teams will present on current issues impacting the HR and IR landscape and there will be an opportunity to network amongst your peers.
►Don’t miss out — get your tickets to CCI’s inaugural HR Link quarterly briefing here.