With everything that has happened in 2020 and the resulting significant changes to our every day lives, the focus on our mental health and wellbeing is now perhaps more important than it has ever been, and the legal profession has not gone unaffected.
Figures established from a recent survey carried out by The Junior Lawyers Division of The Law Society highlighted that 74% of respondents had experienced feeling either regularly or occasionally stressed at work in the month prior to the survey.
With these motivators, Attwells Solicitors has established and implemented a company-wide Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy with members of staff attending courses to become additional Mental Health First Aiders and Mental Health Champions. Staff are being provided with a range of tools and resources that can be accessed at any time, as well as confidential and supportive ways for staff to contact their mental health first aid team.
“There are still a lot of misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health and our aim is to create a law firm where everyone feels they can talk openly and honestly about how they are feeling and the mental health issues they may be experiencing,” explains practice Founder Nick Attwell. “To know that they will feel supported and listened to, and to know that there is dedicated help, guidance and resources in place to support them in the workplace.”
The initiative has received a very positive response from colleagues across the firm, and demonstrates that Attwells is an organisation which shows care for their staff members’ health and wellbeing.
In addition to this, Attwells are also looking at ways in which their Employment Law Team can help clients who have experienced discrimination in the workplace due to mental health issues.
The Equality Act 2010 protects people from unfair treatment and discrimination in the workplace due to disability from day one of their employment, with most mental health conditions capable as being classified as a ‘disability’ for this purpose. Furthermore, the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 dictates that employers have a duty of care to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employers, both physical and mental.
If anyone feels that they have experienced discrimination on these grounds Attwells Lloyd Clarke, Partner and Head of the Employment Law Team at Attwells can be contacted on 01206 239761.