October Update

World Mental Health Day, statutory parental bereavement leave becomes law and when a resignation is not notice to terminate employment

Increasing understanding of mental ill health, and promoting positive mental health, highlighted as measures to improve employee wellbeing.

Mental health problems are estimated to affect one in four people each year, with far-ranging symptoms and conditions impacting each person differently. At any time, it is highly likely an organisation is employing at least one individual whose wellbeing is influenced by mental ill health. Supportive business practices can reduce the length of employee absences, improve morale and promote positive workplace wellbeing.

On 10 October 2018, World Mental Health Day aims to increase global education, awareness and communication about this issue. In the UK, many charities are already stepping up their efforts to break the stigma around this matter, with a new resource website receiving royal approval.

With 12.5 million working days lost in 2016/17 as a result of stress, depression or anxiety, tackling the stigma around mental health doesn’t just make good business sense - it will support a healthier and happier workplace.

Statutory parental bereavement leave becomes law

Working parents will be legally entitled to two weeks’ bereavement leave where they suffer the loss of a child under 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Eligible parents will also have a right to be paid for this leave. Although the Parental Bereavement Act 2018 is now in place, the right is expected to be introduced in 2020.

Case law

In East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust v Levy, the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided a letter of resignation was not notice to terminate the employment contract because of the organisation’s internal policy requiring employees to resign before moving departments.

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