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New guidance from Acas on Reasonable Adjustments for Mental Health at Work

Acas has launched new guidance on reasonable adjustments for mental health at work.

It is important to take an employee’s mental health problem seriously and with the same care as a physical illness.

Acas has new guidance and resources to help support both employers and employees when handling reasonable adjustments for mental health at work, including practical steps and what considerations they should be aware of.

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.

Reasonable adjustments are changes an employer can make, to remove or reduce a disadvantage related to someone’s disability.

Disability is defined by the Equality Act 2010 (‘the Act’) as:

“A person (P) has a disability if P has a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

In general, day-to-day activities are things people do on a regular or daily basis, and examples include shopping, reading and writing, having a conversation or using the telephone, watching television, getting washed and dressed, preparing and eating food, carrying out household tasks, walking and travelling by various forms of transport, and taking part in social activities.

Substantial means “more than minor or trivial” and the effect of an impairment will be long-term only if:

  • It has lasted at least 12 months;
  • The period for which it lasts is likely to be 12 months; or
  • It is likely to last for the rest of the life of the person affected.

Often people think of a disability as a physical disability, but it is important that employers are aware that a mental impairment could also be a disability.

The Act states that employers must make reasonable adjustments for:

  • workers;
  • contractors and self-employed people hired to personally do the work; and
  • job applicants

Employers must make reasonable adjustments when:

  • they know, or could reasonably be expected to know, someone is disabled;
  • a disabled staff member or job applicant asks for adjustments;
  • someone who is disabled is having difficulty with any part of their job; and
  • someone’s absence record, sickness record or delay in returning to work is because of, or linked to, their disability.

Often, simple changes to a person’s working arrangements or responsibilities could be enough to help them stay in work and work well.

Reach out to us and we can help you get reasonable adjustments right! You can contact us on:

? hello@peachlaw.co.uk

? Connect with us on LinkedIn – Peach Law (HR & Employment Law Specialists)

? 0161 478 3800




New guidance from Acas on Reasonable Adjustments for Mental Health at Work

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