Mental health discrimination is limiting the opportunities in the workplace for those who have served in the armed forces

In preparation of this years’ Remembrance Sunday, here at Thrive we’ve been thinking about how best to support employees who are linked with the armed forces.

Generally, we agreed that the best way to support them at this time is simple: check in, and make sure that they are adequately supported this week and next, as they may struggle more as Remembrance Sunday looms.

As part of our research, though, we came across a study from SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, which revealed some shocking statistics.

  • 46% of recruiters would worry about hiring someone who had previously served in the armed forces, in case they had mental health issues
  • 48% of UK workers said they would feel comfortable working with a service leaver
  • 1 in 12 (8%) UK workers associate service leavers as being aggressive while 1 in 16 (6%) said short-tempered

All of these misconceptions seem to continue, despite the fact that former military experience could present numerous helpful skills for a prospective employer.

From our perspective, we were shocked to see that there is a clear link between a perception that veterans might have mental health issues, and therefore a recruiter would worry about hiring them, and potentially avoid hiring them, over a non-veteran.

For one thing, this would be discrimination by perception; a prospective candidate would be perceived as having a disability (a mental health condition would potentially amount to a disability), and therefore be treated unfavourably because of this perception. If a former armed forces member could clearly prove that this perception was the reason that they weren’t offered an interview or a role, they would be able to take that employer to Tribunal for discriminatory recruitment.

This is why it is always so important to have an equal opportunities policy, and to ensure that those recruiting or making decisions do not have any inappropriate misconceptions or presumptions about someone’s ability based off (for example) their appearance, gender, or previous experience.   Sometimes this may be unconscious, but with clear guidance and training you can educate your team to ensure this does not occur.

Thrive HR Tips:

  • Make sure any interviewers don’t make any assumptions on interviewees based on previous military experience;
  • Make sure your equal opportunities policy clearly outlines that equal opportunities also extends to prospective employees;
  • Educate your team to ensure that they follow your equal opportunities policy.

 

SSAFA is asking that employers sign up to support equal recruitment opportunities for UK service leavers. We are proud to have signed up today.

If you have any concerns about any discrimination in recruitment, or mental health discrimination, please contact us. For employers, we can draft or review equal opportunities’ policies and provide training to staff where necessary.

Written by Alicia Collinson.

Related Articles

MMB Magazine – 5 November 2018

Calling Time on the Booze Culture

Drugs and Alcohol Policy: Support or Discipline?

Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace

Yorkshire Legal Awards: Diversity and Inclusion Award

Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business: Social Mobility Award

Topic UK Magazine October 2019

Mental health discrimination is limiting the opportunities in the workplace for those who have served in the armed forces

Thrive Law positive following trial four-day working week

How to Thrive – Top tips to reduce stress in your organisation

Asda’s Employment Contract Changes: Fair or Foolish?

Keep Informed: MacDonald’s CEO dismissed for relationship at work

How to Handle Allergies in the Workplace

Menopause in the Workplace

The 4 Day Week Report

Feeling SAD?

WELLBEING | Thriving Minds at the Civic Hall by Rob Kilner

Keep Informed: New case criticises workplace “banter” and awards £54,000 for race and sexual orientation discrimination

Surviving or Thriving?

Keep Informed: Women and Equalities Committee proposes changes to enforcement of discrimination rights

The Good Work Plan

Working 9 to 5, 4 Days a Week…?

Is your organisation ready for Generation Z?

Thriving In The Workplace and the #OneMind Petition

Dyslexia in the Workplace

Overpayments and Deductions from wages

The UK’s increasingly diabetic workforce

TheBusinessDesk: Further expansion for law firm; Promotions at engineering specialist; and more

LGBTQIA+ in the Workplace

Eid in the Workplace

Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Magazine – 11th April 2019

Recruiting Times – 12th February 2019 Employment contracts: What to check for before accepting the job

HR News – 6th February 2019 Over half of working Brits have accepted a job offer without checking the contract first.

HR REVIEW – 5th February 2019 Over half UK workers accepted job offers without checking contract first

Yorkshire Legal News – 12th November 2018

BR Online: Employee wellbeing and human capital – November 2018

The Telegraph- Business 24 October 2018

H & N Magazine 3 October 2018

South Leeds Life 3 October 2018

The Yorkshire Post 10 October 2018

Article in People Management- “Employers must do more to tackle male ‘stigma’ around shared parental leave” – 30th July

The Business Desk- “Independent law firm launches in Yorkshire”– July 16th

Interview with Ascension Club Leeds- July 11th

Law Society Gazette – 3rd May 2018

Stylist Magazine – 21st May

Yorkshire Post – 2 May 2018 – Greg Wright The Case for introducing mental health first aiders at work

What Is YOUR Workplace Doing for Ramadan?

April Updates in Employment Law

Thoughts On “Gagging Orders”

Time to Talk Day 2019

The Loneliness Epidemic

Thrive’s round up of 2018!

To talk or not to talk?

Why employers should exercise caution when using NDAs

Being your true self at work boosts mental wellbeing and performance

How to spot and eliminate risks of office workplace accidents

Why The Best Investment Is In Your Mental Health

Supporting LGBT+ Mental Health in the Workplace

What your employer needs to know when your child has a mental health illness – guest blog

The Do’s And Don’t For A Happy Employee – Guest Blog

HR leading the way into GDPR compliance for businesses

Dealing with stress in the workplace

Welcome to our new website and blog!

Beth’s Two Months at Thrive