Report: Closing the gap
The final report from the Mental Health and Income Commission shows there is a significant ‘mental health income gap’, and calls for urgent and systemic action to stop this from growing.
- Typical income for people with common mental health conditions is £8,400 less than for the rest of the population.
- Since the pandemic began, three in 10 people with mental health problems have experienced an income drop – causing many to cut back on essentials.
- A significant cause of this gap is the barriers to employment and job progression that many people with mental health problems face – ranging from inflexible working practices to discrimination.
The report calls for both immediate measures and systemic reforms to address these income inequalities. Recommendations for government and employers include:
- Large companies should be required by law to report on the pay gap between employees with and without mental health problems, to expose inequalities and discrimination.
- The government should introduce a right to flexible working for all employees during the pandemic, to help people with mental health problems to continue work flexibly and increase income security.
- Statutory Sick Pay should be more generous and current eligibility criteria should be expanded to make it a basic employment right for all workers.