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Mental Health Leave Policy

This Policy document can be used to allow employees to take mental health leave.


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Document Overview

What Is Mental Health/Stress Leave?

Mental health leave, a ‘mental health day’ or stress leave, is time taken off work by employees who are overwhelmed by their workload, private life or other sources of stress such as school workload or family responsibilities. Mental health leave can be taken by employees whilst they are facing stress and is taken to alleviate further duress from occurring. In the absence of a mental health leave policy, employees who claim stress leave will take it from their personal leave. It is not a legal requirement to provide mental health/stress leave; rather, it is a practice increasingly common across workplaces.

Examples of circumstances an employee may claim mental health leave include:

  • A large amount of responsibilities in their personal and work life.

  • Being burnt out from overworking and finishing a large workload.

  • Traumatic events in their personal life.

  • Repercussions arising from anxiety, depression or any other mental illness.

What Is A Mental Health Leave Policy?

A mental health leave policy acts as a guideline and reference for employees who are wanting to claim mental health leave, or to learn more about it. A mental health leave policy educates employees on what mental health leave is, the principles of it and entitlements different employees are eligible for claim. In order to be effective, it should be framed with the clarity and specificity of other forms of leave, so that it delivers the intended mental health benefits without being abused or generating stigma around mental health issues. This policy applies only to permanent (full or part time) employees.

What Does The Mental Health Policy include?

  • Mental health policy purpose.

  • Notice requirements and eligibility of employees. 

  • The specific hours employees are entitled to claim.

  • Contact details.

Creating a Supportive Workplace Culture

Ensuring your business has a mental health leave policy ensures the workplace is supportive and contributing towards its corporate social responsibility. Employees who can view their business’s mental health policy are likely to feel more supported by their workplace, coworkers and managers. Having a mental health policy as a business owner demonstrates to your employees, shareholders and consumers that your business recognises the importance of mental health in the workplace and is willing to directly attack the stigma surrounding mental struggles not being a ‘real reason’ to claim personal leave.

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