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World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day – Life & Work

To mark World Mental Health day, which is observed on Thursday 10 October this year, the Workplace Relations Commission would like to remind employers and employees of their rights and obligations under employment law in a few areas.

This day gives us a great opportunity to highlight mental health awareness and to learn how we can appropriately support one another, our friends, family, employees and colleagues, who are dealing with issues in both life and work.

 Organisation of Working Time

There is a lot of conversation now in society about always ‘being on call’, answering emails and phone calls outside normal working hours. This can put a lot of undue stress and pressure on people as they try to progress their career or get ahead, making them feel like they have no choice but to accept this extra burden.

However, under the Organisation of Working Time Act, the maximum number of hours an employee should work in an average working week is 48 hours, calculated over a four-month period.

To find out more, check out Working Hours and Breaks

 Life and Work

From time to time, people may need to take leave in order to care for a loved one or themselves. As well as holiday leave, there are a range of family-friendly leaves available to help employees balance work and family life.

To find out more, check out our guide to working life and information on leave.

 Grievance and bullying and harassment in the workplace

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your work, you can make a complaint to your employer know as a ‘grievance’. You can file a complaint with your employer using their grievance policy procedures. These procedures should be made available to you either when you start work, as part of your induction or through refresher training. These policies should be available in writing and in an easily understood format and language.

Employers must also take steps to ensure bullying and harassment of any employee is not tolerated and is dealt with appropriately when it does occur. Examples of behaviour that may constitute bullying or harassment are:

  • purposely undermining someone
  • targeting someone with special negative treatment at work or on social media
  • attacking an individual’s reputation
  • social exclusion or isolation
  • repeated requests with impossible deadlines or impossible tasks

Each workplace should have a bullying and harassment policy that is known to all employees.

To find out more, check out our Codes of Practice on 'Grievance' and 'Addressing Bullying in the Workplace'.

If you’d like to know about mental health or seek help you can visit the HSEs for more information.