ACAS has introduced new guidance for employers and employees with regards to reasonable adjustments for mental health (see here).
There is an obligation on employers to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. If mental health issues have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, they may then fall within the definition of a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010.
ACAS is therefore reminding employers that mental health issues need to be taken seriously and with the same care and consideration as with dealing with physical disabilities. Further, it is a reminder for employers to consider requests for reasonable adjustments individually – what amounts to a reasonable adjustment for one worker won’t necessarily be a solution for another worker. In addition, it is a reminder that mental health issues may fluctuate over time so reasonable adjustments should be reviewed to ensure they are still suitable in the circumstances.
The guidance provides examples of what could amount to reasonable adjustments, how an employer should respond to such requests, and how an employer should manage employees with reasonable adjustments for mental health. There is also guidance and a template letter for employees seeking to request reasonable adjustments.
If you have questions or need advice it is advisable to get advice from qualified, specialist employment solicitors. Please get in touch with us on 01483 303636 to discuss your situation and see how we can help.