The recent case of Wickers v Colchester Visionplus Ltd t/a Specsavers Opticians indicates that Tribunals will not rule favourably on employers who have insensitive attitudes towards mental health issues.
Following some attendance and performance issues, Ms Vickers became teary during an appraisal. She was later diagnosed with depression. She mentioned this to a director and was told that he had no sympathy and that everyone gets depressed sometimes, you just need to pull yourself together.
Following further attendance issues and pending disciplinary action the Claimant resigned believing she was going to be dismissed. The ET allowed her claim citing that the attendance issues were an effect of the depression and that the director’s unsympathetic attitude amounted to discrimination.
Whilst this is a Tribunal decision that isn’t binding it does suggest that judges will take a similar approach in cases involving attitudes towards mental illness.