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Equalities and Rights Equalities and Rights

Consider the findings of the Stevenson-Farmer Review into workplace mental health support

Last updated: 09:22am 22 January 2019

We will consider the findings of the Stevenson-Farmer Review into workplace mental health support, working with employers to encourage new products and incentives to improve the mental health and wellbeing support available to their employees.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.57

Our verdict

In January 2017, the government commissioned the Stevenson-Farmer Review – a report on the situation for those with mental health conditions in the workplace. The report found that those with mental health conditions face a “serious challenge” in the workplace, with 300,000 losing their jobs each year, a far higher rate than for those without mental health conditions. Yet the review also pointed to grounds for optimism, arguing that in some workplaces positive practices had been put into place to protect employees with mental health conditions.

The review suggested ways in which employers could work towards solving the problem “at little or no cost”, by encouraging open dialogue between employer and employee and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. It also made recommendations for more concrete changes, such as a revision of how statutory sick pay functions and the introduction of incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support employees with mental health conditions, so that good practice in the private sector is rewarded.

In November 2017, the government published a response to the Stevenson-Farmer Review as part of the policy paper, Improving Lives: the future of work, health and disability. In that, they demonstrated that they had taken the review into consideration and claimed to have implemented many of its recommendations in the public sector, specifically the Civil Service and the NHS. Annex C of the policy paper details the government response to 40 individual recommendations made in the Stevenson-Farmer Review.

The response to the Stevenson-Farmer Review is evidence that the government has fulfilled this promise to “consider” the findings. We look more closely at the work government has done with employers as a result of the recommendations in our verdict for the related policy (Work with employers to encourage better workplace mental health support), but this one is ‘done’.

Consider the facts

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