January 29, 2010

I'm delighted to report that the Government has made a commitment to address the discriminatory provisions in existing legislation which means that an MP automatically loses his or her seat if detained under the Mental Health Act.

The current legislation requires MPs who have been detained under the Mental Health Act to stand down and abolishing this would be a positive step towards tackling stigma and discrimination.

Section 141 of the Mental Health Act means that MPs have to resign if they are sectioned for more than six months, and the Government is now under considerable pressure this month to repeal the law.

We are pleased to see that the government is playing its part in tackling stigma and discrimination, particularity in this instance relating to the Mental Health Act. Furthermore, this sends a clear message to other employers that we need to address mental health problems in the workplace and to put an end to the discriminatory attitudes that prevent capable people from working.

However, we believe it is vital that we build upon this decision with firm commitment to a timeline, ensuring that this decision is part of the positive indicators that show the time is right for long overdue change.

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