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Mentally Ill Staff

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information her Department has gathered on the effect of its policies and practices on the recruitment, development and retention of employees with mental illnesses within (a) her Department and (b) the public sector bodies for whom she has responsibility; and what use has been made of that information. (228543)

The Department for Communities and Local Government is an equal opportunities employer. The Department collects data volunteered by staff on whether or not they consider themselves to have a disability. The Department does not collect data as to the nature of the disability.

The Department supports and develops staff who declare disabilities. Our staff counsellors are trained to offer support on a number of mental health issues. We also offer reasonable adjustments to help staff enter and remain in the workplace, whether a disability is physical or mental in nature. In line with Civil Service policy, our recruitment campaigns make clear that we welcome applicants who consider themselves to have a disability.

Guidance on managing staff with mental health issues is also available to all line managers and, as part of the Department's Equalities Month in November, we are running a workshop on this issue in conjunction with City and Hackney MIND.