Workplace rights: Dark days ahead

By 2030, depression could be the single most pressing HR concern.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

The World Health Organisation predicts that, by 2030, depression will be the single biggest health burden on society, with more people affected by it than any other medical condition. As a result, mental health could emerge as the most pressing HR concern over the next two or three decades, not least because work itself is part of the problem. In 2007-08, about 442,000 individuals in Britain believed the level of work-related stress, depression or anxiety they were experiencing was making them ill. Aside from the cost of staff absences, employers have become more prone to litigation by employees suffering from psychiatric illness, particularly since the advent of disability discrimination laws in the mid-90s. Yet successful employers will look beyond mere legal compliance and devise an effective, long-term health and wellbeing agenda for staff. Priorities include curbing excessive working hours, training managers to deal with workplace stress proactively, and fostering a culture in which mental health issues can be raised and addressed.

Michael Burd and James Davies, Lewis Silkin LLP solicitors - e-mail:

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Why you overvalue your own ideas

And why you shouldn't.

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....

A CEO’s guide to smart decision-making

You spend enough time doing it, but have you ever thought about how you do...

What Tinder can teach you about recruitment

How to make sure top talent swipes right on your business.

An Orwellian nightmare for mice: Pest control in the digital age

Case study: Rentokil’s smart mouse traps use real-time surveillance, transforming the company’s service offer.

Public failure can be the best thing that happens to you

But too often businesses stigmatise it.