Black members and workplace mental health

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2019 National Black Members' Conference
12 September 2018
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that employers are failing in their duty of care towards all staff with mental health issues, and this has a particular effect on Black Workers. Recent UNISON research found that 25 percent of local government workers in Scotland had experienced mental health issues at work, and the figure for Black Workers was 50% higher.

Conference believes that the link between inequalities and poor mental health is well known and the origin of workplace inequalities is also well known:

1)Discrimination in recruitment, development and promotion practices;

2)Discrimination in the increased prevalence of insecure or precarious work arrangements among Black Workers;

3)Discrimination in the pay gap for Black Workers and, in particular, the compound pay discrimination experienced by Black women at work; and,

4)Discrimination in the form of bullying and harassment at work.

Conference notes that trade unions are actively organised against discrimination in the workplace. However, additional work is required to compel employers to acknowledge and address the higher frequency of mental health problems encountered by Black Workers as a result of discrimination at work.

Conference calls on the National Black Member Committee to work with National Women’s Committee, National Disabled Committee and LGBT committee to raise awareness of the significantly higher rate of work related mental health problems among black workers.

Conference calls on the National Black Member Committee to work with Union Regional and National Learning teams to expand its highly successful work on Mental Health awareness to include specific activities targeting the mental health of Black Workers.

And Conference calls on the National Black Member Committee to support affiliates in developing additional measures to support Black Workers when they challenge work related stress through action against hazards including discrimination, peer support between Black Members, networking and organising within their work place.