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Last month ACAS published updated guidance around support for mental health in the workplace.
Under the Equality Act (2010), employers have a legal obligation to offer support to any employee who has a disability, defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
The new guidance summarises that reasonable adjustments must be made:
ACAS states when a company is looking to put in place reasonable adjustments that they should consider that:
Examples of reasonable adjustments in relation to mental health:
ACAS highlights the importance of the employer and employee working together when discussing reasonable adjustments and being clear on what support the company can provide vs what the employee is requesting. Should an employee request reasonable adjustments, the company should be understanding and listening to the reasons why the employee has requested these adjustments.
Organisations should document any reasonable adjustments agreed and make a plan of when these actions will be implemented or later reviewed.
Employers are also advised to complete future checks with the employee to understand if the reasonable adjustments are providing the support required or if any further changes need to be actioned.
By conducting reviews and checking in on the employee, the employer can be seen as providing the extra support the employee may need. Ignoring a request for reasonable adjustments may be considered an act of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act. The full ACAS guide can be accessed here: https://www.acas.org.uk/reasonable-adjustments-for-mental-health
Your designated HR advisor is also available to discuss the requirement for reasonable adjustments on a case by case basis. Talk to us today to discuss your requirements – call 01427 678 660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help.