Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:27 pm on 17th January 2019.

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Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment) 2:27 pm, 17th January 2019

I strongly agree. I do not know if the hon. Lady has had the opportunity to look at the Workers (Definition and Rights) Bill, which I have introduced and deals with some of those issues. People on zero-hours contracts or working parents turn up at work with an expectation that they are going to be working for a certain amount of hours—four, perhaps—and are told they will instead be working for eight hours and then have to deal with childcare; or they turn up and, as the hon. Lady said, find they are not required that day. That must have an impact on someone’s mental health and wellbeing.

I ask the Government to look at the punitive measures in terms of benefit conditionality. That is also a recipe for people to be recycled into unsuitable, potentially exploitative work just to avoid a sanction.

I support the motion. I ask the Government to look at these issues about the clear and direct impact on the mental health of workers and possibly changing some policies in that regard. I thank all Members who have spoken so far for their excellent contributions.