New ACAS guidance aims to support employers and employees.
According to the 2022 CIPD & Simplyhealth annual workplace health and wellbeing survey mental health remains the most common cause of long-term absence in UK workplaces, and this statistic is repeated in numerous other surveys and reports.
In order to support both employers and employees, ACAS has recently published guidance on making reasonable adjustments specifically in circumstances where the issue is mental health related. The guidance covers:-
- What reasonable adjustments for mental health are;
- Examples of reasonable adjustments for mental health;
- Requesting reasonable adjustments for mental health;
- Responding to reasonable adjustments for mental health requests;
- Managing employees with reasonable adjustments for mental health; and
- Reviewing policies with mental health in mind.
The guidance is written in the usual style of ACAS, straight forward and easy to follow. While the majority of it is directed primarily at employers the section on requesting reasonable adjustments is directed at workers. The guidance provides practical examples and also links into Case studies about reasonable adjustments for mental health which highlight how other organisations have successfully used reasonable adjustments to support workers.
While the legal duty to make reasonable adjustments only arises for a "disabled person" under the Equality Act 2010, it is of course open to employers to make adjustments to meet the needs of any of their workers. Managing employees' mental health and providing support to keep employees in the workplace, or return them to it, benefits everyone - the individual, their colleagues, their employer and the bottom line.
If you'd like to speak to us about making reasonable adjustments, please don't hesitate to get in contact with our team.
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