Mindful Employer

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The University of Oxford signed Mindful Employer's Charter for Employers Who Are Positive About Mental Health in February 2018.  By doing this we show our willingness to work towards the principles of the Charter, and our commitment to supporting staff wellbeing. 

Despite the name, Mindful Employer isn't all about mindfulness (although that may be a useful tool for some people).  We are using this as a framework to formulate an action plan to develop a culture that is more supportive of staff mental health.

As an employer we recognise that, in the UK, people experiencing mental ill health continue to report stigma and discrimination. We are committed to creating a supportive and open culture, where colleagues are able to talk about mental health. We are also committed to ensuring that our employees feel safe in disclosing any mental health conditions and confident that they will be properly supported and offered reasonable adjustments when required.

As an employer we have made an ongoing commitment to:

  • Provide non-judgemental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental ill health.
  • Not make assumptions that a person with a mental health condition will be more vulnerable to workplace stress or take more time off than any other employee or job applicant.
  • Show a positive and enabling attitude to all employees and job applicants with a mental health condition. This will include positive statements in local recruitment literature.
  • Ensure all line managers have access to information and training about managing mental health in the workplace.
  • Ensure that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health conditions and The Equality Act 2010, and given appropriate interview skills. Make it clear in any recruitment or occupational health check that people who have experienced mental ill health will not be discriminated against and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.

We have set up a Mindful Employer Steering Group (MESG) to oversee our work in developing and implementing an action plan to improve our support for staff mental health. The MESG has developed an action plan for 2018-19, which was approved by Personnel Committee in Trinity term 2018. Download the Mindful Employer Action Plan 2018-19 (PDF)