Experts in Workplace Learning

Category: Uncategorized

Videos in Online Training I New HR Explainer Videos

Videos certainly have their place in the training and learning world. In our recently launched compliance series, we created two types of videos:

  • Real Play‘ – these simulate potential real-world interactions
  • Explainer videos – these summarise key information and engage the learner with relevant on-screen graphics

At eCompliance Training, we have received great feedback on both types of videos, which were produced by our friends at WEMOV. WEMOV have just launched a series of HR Explainer videos that cover a range of topics across the HR lifecycle and critical compliance areas.

The videos offer a key tool for

  • Just-In-Time learning
  • Integration into eLearning
  • A broader communications or learning program

Check out a sample video here.
Download a brochure here.

The videos can be easily and economically modified to reflect your organisation’s branding or specific policies and procedures. Click here to see how they work.

We think these are great – and no doubt we will be using them in programs we produce.


Mental Health in the Workplace I Rights and Responsibilities for Employers and Employees

Did you know that there are legislated Rights and Responsibilities for Employers and Employees in relation to mental illness and mental health in the workplace?

Heads Up provides the following overview.

What are my responsibilities?

Providing equal employment opportunities  Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against someone on the grounds of disability – including a mental health condition.

As an employer, you must offer equal employment opportunities to someone with a mental health condition. If a person can fulfil the ‘inherent requirements’ of the job, he or she should have just as much chance to do that job as anyone else. These inherent requirements will be different for each role and include the ability to perform core tasks, work effectively with the team and work safely.

These laws against discrimination apply:

  • during the recruitment process, including advertising, interviewing and other selection procedures
  • when deciding who will get the job
  • when negotiating terms and conditions of employment, such as pay rates, work hours and leave
  • when determining promotion, transfer, training and other benefits associated with employment
  • during the dismissal, demotion or retrenchment process.

Making reasonable adjustments

For many people experiencing a mental health condition, small changes to the working environment will be enough to ensure that they have an equal opportunity to perform job requirements.

Employers are required by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) to make reasonable adjustments so that a person with a mental health condition can productively perform their job functions.

This might include:

  • adjustments to work methods or arrangements, including hours of work and use of leave entitlements
  • adjustments to the workplace or work-related premises, equipment or facilities
  • adjustments to work-related rules or modifications to enable a person to comply with rules as they exist.

The individual situation will dictate what kinds of adjustments are reasonable in the circumstances. In most cases, the employee involved will be able to identify what changes are required. If the requested adjustments would impose unjustifiable hardship on your organisation or change the role’s inherent requirements, there is no obligation to implement them.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed a brief guide to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).

Safe Work Australia has produced a fact sheet on making reasonable adjustments. It can be dowloaded by clicking here.

Providing a safe and healthy workplace

Under each State and Territory’s work health and safety legislation, there are obligations to ensure (so far as is reasonably practicable) the health and safety of workers and others in the workplace, such as visitors and customers. ‘Health’ is defined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 as both physical and psychological health.

The employer, or person in control of the business, should ensure staff health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable by:

  • providing and maintaining a work environment without risk to health and safety
  • providing and maintaining safe systems of work
  • monitoring the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace
  • consulting with workers and their representatives on work health and safety matters
  • providing information, training, instruction and supervision so workers can safely perform their work activities.

At the same time, there are obligations under work health and safety legislation for workers and all other people within a workplace. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), an employee’s ability to work safely is an ‘inherent’ or essential requirement of any job. If an employee’s mental health condition could reasonably be seen to cause a health and safety risk for other people at work, then failing to disclose that risk could be a breach of their obligations under work health and safety legislation.

What are my rights? 

While employers have a number of legal obligations, they do have the right to ask certain questions about an employee or potential employee’s mental health condition.

Where more information about a condition is legitimate, necessary and desirable, an employer is permitted to ask an employee or potential employee for details. This may be:

  • to determine whether the person can perform the inherent requirements of the job
  • to identify if any reasonable adjustments may be needed, either in the selection and recruitment process or in the work environment and role
  • to establish facts for entitlements such as sick leave, superannuation, workers’ compensation and other insurance.

If you’re an employer in this position, the overall test is whether your enquiries are for a ‘legitimate’ purpose. For example, it might be legitimate to ask an employee questions about their medication if the job involves operating machinery.

If you do ask your employee for information, you must maintain confidentiality and protect his or her right to privacy. This means protecting the information against improper access and disclosure.

Contact us

For more information about Mental Health in the Workplace programs, please call +61 03 9486 5398 or make an online enquiry.

Discover Learning Designs Instructional Designers

Tess Howells

About Tess 

Tess worked with Discover Learning Designs to create a series of online courses about Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace.

Tess has over 15 years experience as a qualified psychologist and holds degrees in social science, psychology and Post Graduate qualifications in nutritionhypnosis, mediation and adult education. Tess practices Positive Psychology which is the scientific study of the factors that increase well-being and enhance life.

Tess helps to move people away from a focus on their problems and what is ‘not right’ in their world, towards their preferred more positive image of their lives. Tess assist her clients in becoming clear about their values and unique character strengths and helps them to use these to find meaning and purpose.

Please watch the following video.

Tess is also a published author having written the acclaimed book “Change Your Thinking Change Your World“.

Comprehensive Mental Health Model:

The Mental Health Model highlights three phases of mental health, which are overlaid with common organisational terms (Compliance, Risk Reduction and Best Practice). All organisations should have programs and strategies in place to ensure they are compliant and should consider additional programs and strategies to move into the pro-active phases of Prevention and Best Practice.

The ‘double ended arrow’ represents that individuals and organisations can, and do move from phase to phase. Evidence indicates that the absence of mental illness does not imply the presence of mental health, and the absence of mental health does not imply the presence of mental illness.

The Mental Health Model was adapted from the Two-Factor or Complete Mental Health Model, Corey L M Keyes, 2007
To learn more about Tess visit

To learn more about Tess’s online courses click here or on the links below.


Discover Learning Designs Instructional Designers

Problems 4 to 7 every organisation must address when managing mental health

The costs to Australian businesses of NOT addressing mental illness:

  • Compensation Claims $145.9 million
  • Absenteeism $4.7 billion
  • Presenteeism $6.1 billion
    TOTAL COST: $10.9 billion per year

For every dollar spent on effective mental health actions, around $2.30 is returned in benefits to the organisation. And for smaller organisations, the ROI can be as much as $15 for each dollar invested. PwC/beyondblue/NMHC 2014

Problem 4: Exposure to Litigation

Legislation prohibits discrimination against a person with a mental illness and requires employers to ensure that employees have both a psychologically and physically safe work environment.

Failure to comply with legislated responsibilities, or breaching the rights of employees, can lead to litigation that is costly both financially and in terms of reputation.

Key Insight

Get help to ensure that your organisation’s current policies for dealing with mental illness and creating a safe working environment meet the requirements of current legislation.

While a simple needs assessment can identify policy gaps, training programs can ensure that managers are trained to know:

  • Legislation around mental health
  • How to take steps to identify and reduce risks to mental health – including bullying, poor supervision, inadequate training
  • How to develop an organisational plan and goals for achieving optimal mental health in the workplace

Problem 5: Lack of Understanding of Workplace Factors that Contribute to Poor Mental Health

Poor work design can contribute to stress. Stress that is prolonged may develop into mental illness, particularly anxiety disorders and depression.

Key Insight

Research shows that changing and monitoring work design can significantly reduce stress, increase employee engagement and improve satisfaction. Key initiatives that can improve workplace performance include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased control and autonomy for staff
  • Monitoring workload
  • Recognition of effort

Problem 6: Lack of Knowledge of Factors that Enhance and Optimise Mental Health in the Workplace

Many managers with the best of intentions have implemented initiatives to improve mental health, engagement and productivity – and have then been disappointed by either the lack of uptake, positive results or both.

Key Insight

Ensure that the services and programs you implement have been thoroughly researched and developed by psychologists, so that you can be assured they are:

  • Evidenced-based
  • Based on the latest research in neuroscience, quantum physics and functional medicine
  • Based on sound adult learning theory
  • Integrated, comprehensive and holistic
  • Engaging and effective

Problem 7: I Don’t Know Where to Start!

The field of mental health and psychological well being is BIG, but you can make a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of your employees relatively quickly and easily. No one expects you to be a psychologist, and you may find that you know a little more than you may have thought, since psychology is really the study of human behaviour. You don’t have to know it all, and you don’t have to achieve it all at once.

Key Insight

Find a provider you feel comfortable working with. A quality provider will have:

  • A blueprint for implementing your own comprehensive workplace mental health plan
  • Checklists for each stage of implementation for your plan
  • Access to research in the fields of organisational and positive psychology, neuroscience and nutrition
  • Information sheets and training programs
  • Ongoing access to psychological expertise

To learn more about online Mental Health in the Workplace Training click here.

Discover Learning Designs Instructional Designers

7 core problems every organisation must address when managing mental health in the workplace

Written by qualified Psychologist Tess Howells. Tess has worked with Discover Learning Designs to create a series of online courses focusing on Mental Health in the Workplace.

Problem 1: Loss of Productivity

Workers who are stressed, anxious or depressed have difficulty concentrating on tasks, are often sleep-deprived and low in motivation. The impact of depression alone in the Australian workplace leads to:

  • Over 6 million working days lost each year
  • 3-4 days off work per month for each person suffering depression
  • 12 million days of reduced productivity each year through absenteeism or presenteeism (being present at work, but not functioning well)

Key Insight

Early identification and intervention of problems is important. Managers need to be properly trained to recognise mental health issues and to know what steps to take next.

Problem 2: Lack of Skills to Identify and Manage Mental Health Problems

Many Managers report feeling uncomfortable about talking with employees about mental health issues and are sometimes concerned that:

  • They will offend the employee
  • They will breach confidentiality
  • They will make vulnerable people feel worse

Key Insight

Creating a workplace culture that encourages open discussion of mental illness is an important first step

Problem 3: Loss of Talent; Recruitment & Retraining Costs

Valued employees these days are seeking work life balance. In the current economic climate, organisations need the best human capital to gain the edge on competitors. In addition, customers increasingly prefer to support businesses that show they care about their employees.

Key Insight

Talent loss, retraining and recruitment costs place a significant burden on organisational resources and performance. Providing the right support services for employees experiencing mental health and workplace performance issues is essential.

Click here to see problems 4 to 7

More information?

For more information please call +61 03 9486 5398 or make an online enquiry.


Discover Learning Designs Instructional Designers