..

Health

  • Written by Tess Sanders Lazarus
According to Pedro Diaz, Founder and CEO of the Mental Health Recovery Institute and former President of the Australian Association of Social Workers, NSW, company directors and business owners need to start looking at the impact of mental health issues in the workplace or face possible action against them personally for breach of duty of care or other forms of damages. 



"Recent Federal Court cases have raised serious questions around when directors may find themselves facing personal penalties. It appears directors may be personally liable for issues in the workplace even if their company does not break any laws. If the company is found to be at risk of breaking any laws, then directors and business owners could be in trouble," Mr Diaz said today.

"These recent cases mark quite a change in the way directors, owners and managers are seen by the courts."

"Mental health is a serious issue in the workplace and becoming a bigger issue for businesses.  

"The increased pressure of cost cutting and doing more with less, is placing significant strain, stress and pressure on staff across the country.

"Many Australian businesses are competing against multi-nationals who are able to source cheaper labour overseas and invest in technology to standardize and computerise activities normally undertaken by humans.  As a result, jobs are being lost, outsourced and off-shored."

"This level of change, pressure and disruption in the workplace combined with more challenging front line issues is creating significant stress for workers and workplaces generally."

"It is no surprise that the presence of mental health issues in the workplace is on the rise."

"While many companies have targets and programs to deal with workplace accidents and other issues such as bullying and harassment, most do not have programs to deal with mental health issues."

"Mental health issues silently affect absenteeism, productivity, morale, customer service and many other areas of a business. In affect, they cause significant financial loss."

"Unless companies start taking workplace mental health seriously, we are going to see a rise in the number of claims against directors and business owners from staff who feel their mental health has been damaged due to poor workplace practices or a lack of regard for the mental health of staff in the workplace."

"Managers are not trained to deal with mental health issues, they are trained to be managers and administrators. Their focus is generally operational and business related."

"In the last few years, we have worked with many organisations to develop and implement programs to address and manage mental health issues in the workplace."

"Some of these have included organisations with large contingents of front line staff who are required to deal with angry and stressed members of the general public. Others include businesses where there is a fair degree of pressure, particularly sales environments."

"Our work involves assisting organisations to identify the risks, implement programs, train managers and establish systems to enable monitoring and action."

"Organisations must start incorporating mental health into their corporate wellness programs and implementing mental health management planning and support systems into their workplace strategies to support staff at all levels. If they don't directors and business owners may find themselves losing their homes or even worse, facing jail time.  Mental health issues are just as serious as physical health issues, it is just that they can be a bit more difficult to recognise."

Pedro Diaz is considered the world leading authority on the issue of work place mental health.   His organisation, the Mental Health Recovery Institute is based in Sydney and works with businesses and corporate companies all over Australia.

www.pedrodiaz.com.au

www.mhri.com.au

Politics

AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton on steel industry

Ambitious expansion plans make mockery of those who wrote off Australian steel industry GFG Alliance's planned rejuvenation of the Whyalla steelworks, and the Australian steel industry more generall...

George Neophytou supports roads funding and more

Independent candidate for Gippsland East George Neophytou has pledged to support completion of duplication of the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale and to upgrading of the Sale alternative ...

Scott Morrison interview with Alan Jones

Belt and Road Initiative; Law and order in Victoria; Queensland infrastructure; Power prices; Paris Agreement; Immigration; Negative gearing.   ALAN JONES: Prime Minister, good morning.   PRIME ...

Business News

Coco Hou: Do your research before you throw in your job to start a business

Holiday season is the peak time for people handing in their resignations.   More people quit in December than they do any other time of year.    Accounting and training expert and CEO of Platinum ...

How to Prepare your Business for Better Sales in 2019

The new year is coming, and this can be an exciting time for businesses It’s a chance to turn over a new leaf and set fresh goals for their organisations. If you own a business or are operating at a...

Know These Financing Hacks Before Joining The Trade Business

You must learn the trade world and find financing options that will make your company healthier. There are several companies that fail because they have never come up with financing that makes sense f...

Travel

5 Tips to Prepare Your Car For a Long Trip

There is never a guarantee that your car won’t have problems on any journey you take. But there are checks and basic maintenance you can do to eliminate some of the risks. When you are taking your c...

7 Off Roading Tips For The First Time Travellers

Travelling is one of the best hobbies that you may have as it gives you the opportunity to learn new things about countries or places that you visit such us the history, tradition, habits and even l...

Top NZ Campervan Spots For First Time Visitors

New Zealand’s stunning landscapes, moderate temperatures, and long, sunny days make the country ideal for a road trip. When you’re touring the country for the first time in your campervan hire New Z...