Have you considered the importance of mental health in the workplace?
As it is Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s timely to bring your attention to ACAS’ new guidance on reasonable adjustments for mental health at work. Although not statutory, this guidance will be used by employees to support any related claims.
But why is discussing mental health in the workplace so important?
Employers have an obligation to support their employees’ health, safety, and welfare. It’s also key to retain key staff, improve employee relationships, maximise productivity, and reduce sickness absence. Additionally, those with poor mental health may be considered disabled and therefore have additional protection under the Equality Act 2010, which employers need to manage carefully.
ACAS’ guide is essential reading, providing insight into examples of reasonable adjustments, how employees should request them, and how employers can respond to them. The key message is that there’s a range of potential adjustments, and the approach should be tailored to an individual’s specific needs. Adjustments could include changes to the physical environment, adjustments to working arrangements or responsibilities, or equipment and support.
Employers are encouraged to review their policies regularly to ensure they’re suitable for those with mental health problems. They also recommend having a dedicated policy that outlines the company’s mental health or wellbeing strategy. It’s worth remembering that not all adjustments will help an individual and some may not be reasonable. Consulting with medical or occupational health specialists and the individual, and conducting regular reviews, is key.
Managing mental health conditions in the workplace is challenging, but the risk of getting it wrong is significant. If you need support and advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch – email@example.com