- 04 May 2023
- 2 min read
Employment Alert – Acas guidance on reasonable adjustments for mental health
Acas guidance on reasonable adjustments for mental health
Acas has published new guidance for employers and employees on making reasonable adjustments for mental health in the workplace.
The guidance explains what reasonable adjustments are (with examples), how to respond to requests for reasonable adjustments and how to manage workers with existing reasonable adjustments in place.
Why is this Important?
Employers are legally required to put in place reasonable adjustments for workers, where they know or could reasonably be expected to know, that the person is disabled.
There is a positive duty on employers to take steps to understand a worker’s mental health condition and whether this amounts to a disability under the Equality Act 2010. In any event, employers should consider putting in place reasonable adjustments even where an individual’s condition may not meet the legal test for disability.
Putting reasonable adjustments in place can help retain staff, reduce absence and can promote a safe and productive work culture. It also ensures employers are complying with their legal obligations, which reduces the risk of employee claims. Failure to put in place reasonable adjustments can lead to claims for disability discrimination. Workers may be able to claim loss of earnings (£uncapped) as well as injury to feelings up to £56,200 (or more in very serious cases). Depending on the circumstances, employees may also be able to bring other claims, such as unfair dismissal.
What should you do?
- Review the Acas guidance here.
- Ensure you are familiar with your obligations under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to reasonable adjustments.
- Review your policies to ensure they adequately deal with mental health issues in the workplace – Acas recommends a separate policy on mental health and reasonable adjustments.
- Provide training to your managers on how to spot mental health issues in the workplace and how to manage workers with mental health conditions.
- Ensure you do not adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and instead, deal with mental health conditions and reasonable adjustments on an individual basis.
Please get in touch to find out how we can help prepare comprehensive policies for you, provide in-house training to your managers / leaders and support you in managing workers with mental health conditions.