PEOPLE with mental illnesses in Trafford are a lot less likely to be employed than other people, according to figures.

Mind has called for more to be done to combat the employment gap, saying hundreds of thousands of people with mental illnesses fall out of work every year – a lot of them due to a lack of support in the workplace.

NHS Digital figures show the employment rate in Trafford's working age population was around 73 per cent in March.

But for people with mental illnesses, it was around 55 per cent.

This means the employment gap has widened since 2020, when 85 per cent of Trafford's working age population was in employment, compared to 73 per cent of people with mental illnesses.

But it is still a smaller gap than in England as a whole, where these figures are 75 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.

The figures are based on the Labour Force Survey, an Office for National Statistics survey on people's employment circumstances.

Vicky Nash, Mind's head of policy, campaigns and public affairs, said unemployment can take its toll on someone's mental health.

She said: "People with mental health problems can thrive and make a valuable contribution to the workplace, but some staff will need additional support from their employer to reach their full potential.

"All too often a lack of understanding about employers' legal duties under the Equality Act 2010 means that many disabled staff – including those with mental health problems – aren't given the reasonable adjustments they need to excel in their roles.

"It's also really important those out of work are supported to find work suited to their individual skills and aspirations if and when they're ready."

Mind is calling for employers to become legally obliged to monitor and reduce health-related pay gaps, and for Statutory Sick Pay to start earlier to ensure ill employees do not work because they cannot afford time off.

A Government spokesperson said that Statutory Sick Pay waiting days protect employers from the cost of short-term absences, and that many pay above the minimum level.

They said: "We understand those with mental health conditions may need different kinds of support and we offer specialist programmes paired with personal support from our Work Coaches and Disability Employment Advisors."

The Government has also committed to seeing a million more disabled people – likely to include some with severe mental health conditions – in work by 2027 as part of its Plan for Jobs initiative.

More than 20,000 employers have signed up to the nationwide Disability Confidence scheme, which champions inclusive recruitment practices, while the Access to Work initiative provides grants to disabled or mentally ill people to help ensure their workplaces are accessible.