Labour & European Law Review
18 October 2017
Conciliation and workplace experts, Acas, published guidance last week to help employers manage mental ill health in the workplace. The advice is equally helpful to trade union reps who can draw on it as a good practice guide.
Emphasising the crucial role that managers play in supporting employee well-being, Acas recommends that they should be as approachable as possible; should monitor staff workloads, set realistic targets and be clear about priorities; and have regular one-to-ones and catch-ups to check on how work is going, identify upcoming challenges and the support that may be required.
Courts have to balance the right of employees to privacy with the right of employers to ensure the smooth running of their company. In Bărbulescu v Romania, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that employers must tell employees in advance that they intend to monitor their email communications to avoid violating their right to privacy.
Employers can justify claims of direct age discrimination by showing that it was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. In BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd v McDowell, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that when considering whether the aims were justified, tribunals have to consider them holistically rather than separately.