Working rights for women and how they can aid in dealing with mental health.

Between 2015 and 2018 women had reportedly higher rates of work-related stress, depression or anxiety per 100,000, with the highest rates amongst those between the ages of 35 and 44. Founder of the UK’s first ever #EmployeeRightsDay, Alex Monaco of Monaco Solicitors is an employment law solicitor and author of The Resignation Revolution. Here he shares his top employee rights tips for women.

Equal Pay

Pay gap between men and women reportedly widens with age, particularly when it comes to senior executive roles. Despite there being legislation, employers are seemingly playing catch up, which includes gender pay gap reporting being rolled out to include numerous employers this year.

Sexual Harassment

Legislation may protect against unwanted conduct in the workplaces and give recourse to the Tribunal upon occurrence, but the #MeToo campaign has shone a light on how far we have to go.

Equal Treatment

The Equality act 2010 aims to protect employees from being treated differently due to sex, marital status, gender assignment and many other rights.

National Minimum Wage

A majority of the low paid workforce is made up of women. Despite this, the national minimum wage ensures that there is a bar to stave off exploitation of the lowest paid by offering a minimum hourly rate of pay.

Maternity Pay

This entails the right to receive an obligatory pay for up to 39 weeks following the birth of a child.

Right to Return

Within the first six months following maternity or adoption leave, women have the right to return to their own job, or to a comparable job in the following six months.

Shared Parental Leave

Taking time off to look after a new baby or child used to be for women only, but now both parents have the right to share leave and take time off work in the first year of a new child in a family. It is crucial to the development of a flexible approach to work and family life that more men take parental leave.

When dealing with workplace stress, depression or anxiety, remember to give as much to your family and friends as you do to the employer in terms of time and attention. Often talking about how you feel and getting a good night sleep helps to put things into perspective.

Time off Work for Family and dependents

Having kids means that emergencies happen, and they get sick from time to time. When this happens, you have the right to take reasonable time off to look after dependents. Despite not having the right to pay, atleast this is a start.

The fact that women of a certain age of 35-44 have the highest rates of workplace stress, depression or anxiety which makes you wonder, is this problem exacerbated by their responsibilities as a parent or carer.

Flexible Working

This entails compacted hours, job shares, part-time jobs and home working

Some professions require you to be on call, but that should be part and parcel of the job and the requirement to be available out of hours so to speak and also what you signed up to.

Make your employers aware of any workplace stress that you are feeling, they aren’t to be ignored. In dealing with workplace stress, depression or anxiety, it’s important to find a job flexibility that suits you to alleviate some of the burden.

Take control of how long your working day is going to be by not taking calls or checking emails out of working hours, minimise your exposure to stressful work situations or ask for a flexible approach  towards your work and where it can be partaken.

Do not suffer in silence. Stress, anxiety and depression of any kind are bad for your mental health and can lead to more serious issues that might require long-term medication and therapy.

Take control of your time, utilise your rights and learn ways of managing your stresses.


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