This study uses longitudinal data and four different measures of mental health to tease out the impact of psychiatric disorder onsets and recoveries on employment outcomes. Results suggest that developing a mental health problem leads to a significant increase in the probability of transitioning to non-employment, while a recovery increases the probability of return to work among the not employed with a mental health problem. No consistent effect was found on hours worked and earnings. Research and policy attention is needed with respect to early interventions such as job retention programmes to help workers with mental health problems remain employed as well as interventions that may lead to recovery and return to work. More research is needed especially with data and models that can differentiate between the effects of mental health onsets and recoveries on employment exit and return to work transitions.