Acas has published new guidance this month regarding reasonable adjustments to support mental health in the workplace. Under the Equality Act 2010, mental ill health can be considered a disability, which means that in those cases where it does, an employer is legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments could be to the job role, working environment, or the employee’s terms and conditions such as a change of hours.
This is timely given that April is stress awareness month and Mental Health Awareness Week is from 15 to 21 May. In addition to this, we know that mental ill health is increasing and according to the HSE in November 2022, 65% of all work-related ill-health cases were due to stress, depression and anxiety, amounting to 914,000 cases (for the period 2021/22). We also know from our research from our annual SME Survey (published in February) that 85% of SME business leaders believed mental health to be their biggest health and safety challenge of 2023 – an increase of 6% from 2021.
If mental ill health is not managed effectively (or at all), employers can face serious tribunal claims in respect of health and safety and employment breaches. Acas guidance, along with the information we share on the Knowledge Base for managing sickness absence of this type will support employers in mitigating risk from a tribunal, as far as is reasonably practicable.
Join our webinar
On Friday 19 May, during Mental Health Week, we shall be running a Q&A webinar, where Dom Greenwood – Senior Health and Safety Consultant and Victoria Templeton, HR Knowledge Manager will be discussing this area and taking your questions on how to support it in the workplace. Dom and Victoria will take your questions from both a Health and Safety perspective, as well as from a HR perspective.
If you would like to attend our free webinar, then please register here and submit your questions as part of the registration process.
Mental Health training
If you would like to train your team and enhance their skills surrounding mental health, we are in the process of scheduling new dates for our Level 2 Mental Health First Aid course as well as our Ambassador course.
You can find out more and get in touch with us to arrange a training date for your team, here.
We are here to help
If you need help navigating redundancies in your workplace, our expert team can help. Contact us on 0844 324 5840 or get in touch with us here.