Opinion Former Article

Rethink Mental Illness criticise "poor practice" by Lloyds TSB

Mental health charity, Rethink Mental Illness, is shocked by the treatment of Lloyds CEO Antonio Horta-Osario, by his company, following his absence from work as a result of stress. It believes Lloyds is demonstrating poor practice and reinforcing stigma and discrimination towards people who have mental health problems.

Rethink Mental Illness CEO, Paul Jenkins, says: “Not only is it poor practice, it is also an ignorant assumption that someone who has had a mental health issue isn’t able to return to work. The inappropriate scrutiny that Mr Horta-Osario is expected to undergo is something that a person who has taken time away from work with a physical illness such as cancer, would never be expected to go through.”

Rethink Mental Illness has been told that Antonio Horta-Osario is being made to re-apply for his job after taking sickness leave and that Lloyds has asked a medical expert to decide whether he is fit to work. Lloyds has also taken the decision that Mr Horta-Osario will be interviewed by all of the company’s board directors, after which every one of them will have to agree he can return to his job or he will be asked to leave.

“This is, as far as we are aware, unprecedented. We are extremely disappointed that an organisation as huge as Lloyds is in essence sending out a message that says if you work for us, if you bank with us, if you invest with us – we will treat you differently if you have mental health issues. 

“Thousands of people experience mental illnesses - just as thousands of people have physical health problems – but with the right support, help and treatment – they can get better, recover, work and do all the things that anyone else does,” says Rethink Mental Illness CEO, Paul Jenkins.


For more information, please contact Rachel Whitehead on 0207 840 3138 Rachel.whitehead@rethink.org

Notes to editors

Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness.

For 40 years we have brought people together to support each other. We run services and support groups that change people’s lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness.

We directly support almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone.

We give information and advice to 500,000 more and we change policy for millions.

Rachel Whitehead
Senior Media Relations Officer, Rethink Mental Illness
020 7840 3138
Tweet me! @Rachel_Rethink

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