'Employers should help employees going through divorce'

By Lenore Rice

Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said the government will "push" employers to intervene and support employees who are going through a divorce or separation.

Mr Duncan Smith says employers should be more proactive to prevent employees getting to a point where a divorce causes them to become depressed or anxious and they take leave and end up on benefits. The comments come as part of government efforts to help get people with mental health problems off benefits. The focus is on early detection and treatment to prevent such people becoming so withdrawn that they struggle to find or maintain a job. The Pensions Secretary says that other European countries have a more proactive process "to engage the worker.. to find out what the problem is" and to then provide "some kind of help and support .. stabilising them and keeping them in that job".

Approximately 60 per cent of employees who leave work with mental health problems are suffering from anxiety or depression according to Mr Duncan Smith. He believes employers are often among the first people to notice when someone displays signs of failing mental or emotional health. Divorce and separation are considered to be two major triggers for a decline in mental health.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 1363.