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Employee Wellbeing: Do employers have a duty of care?

Wellbeing: Do employers have a duty of care?

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Two articles I've read recently have had me contemplating the same question: could there be a point at which the inability to get to grips with employee wellbeing starts to become a breach of an employer's duty of care?

The HSE explains the duty of care as follows:

It is an employer's duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this.

While it’s fair (and understandable) to say most effort over the decades has gone into fulfilling the duty of care in terms of the physical risks employees face, there’s growing acknowledgement of the fact that mental health and wellbeing is a vital part of employee welfare. 

But are employers doing anything meaningful about this? And could ignoring the mental wellbeing of employees be in breach of an employer's duty of care? 

You can read my thoughts on this topic here

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Shonette new
By Shonette
14th Jun 2016 10:01

I think more employers are understanding their role in employee wellbeing, especially seeing as stress plays such a big part in absences. I think the point about doing something meaningful is important though - it's one thing to say that it's on the agenda, or something that management are aware of, but employees feeling like they can be open and honest about problems and their mental health is another step altogether.

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