Government plans to help people with mental health problems stay at work have been welcomed by The Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD).

The secretary of state for work and pensions James Purnell announced more funding will be available for the Access to Work scheme which has already been piloted.

It aims to assess and find new ways of helping people with mental health problems to keep working and not have to receive benefits for their condition.

Susan Scott-Parker, chief executive at the EFD, said it is encouraging many line managers want to support employees suffering mental distress.

"Employers are becoming more disability confident. However, many organisations do not take a best practice approach to mental health issues at work," she said.

Research by EFD revealed three in four line managers have worked with at least one person with mental health problems but only 13 per cent have received training for it.

In other news today, the World Health Organisation revealed 13.8 per cent of the government’s health budget is spent on mental health services in England, which is the highest amount allocated in Europe.