A recent report has been published by the Mental Health and Income Commission which is a collaboration of businesses, trade unions and charities led by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, revealing that the UK’s current mental health income gap is £8,400. The Commission’s report, Closing the gap, also found that one in five people with mental health problems in the UK have faced workplace discrimination.
In response, the Commission has now called on employers and the government to introduce measures and systemic reforms to reduce the pay gap and improve working conditions for workers with mental health problems. These include the right to flexible working for all employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in Statutory Sick Pay and a broadening of its eligibility criteria, as well as introducing a legal pay gap reporting requirement for larger companies to reveal the inequalities and discrimination faced by employees with mental health problems.
Notably, three in ten people with mental health problems experienced an income reduction during the pandemic. Generally, the Commission found that one in five respondents with mental health problems said that they had suffered workplace discrimination due to their condition, including being passed over for promotion or being made redundant and more than two-thirds had their requests for reasonable adjustments rejected or only partly met.