The latest Employment Law Update by ACAS looks at new guidance on how to make reasonable adjustments for mental health conditions in the workplace.
Studies show approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and is an increasingly recognised issue. Why does this matter in the workplace? Data shows that 17.5 million working days were lost last year in the UK due to mental health related absences.
ACAS has published guidance on making reasonable adjustments in aims to foster a more inclusive and supportive work environment and help combat the huge rise in sick days due to poor mental health. Making mental health adjustments at work involves creating a supportive environment that accommodates the needs of employees with mental health conditions. Some key considerations for implementing such adjustments are:
- Raise awareness and reduce Stigma: Promote awareness and education about mental health conditions in the workplace to foster understanding and reduce stigma. Encourage open conversations and create a culture of acceptance and support.
- Flexible working arrangements. Allow for flexible schedules, part-time work, remote work or adjustments to start and finish time where you can.
- Modifications to work environment: Create a calm space, adjust lighting or noise levels during periods of increased stress.
- Communication and confidentiality: Establish clear channels of communication for employees to discuss their mental health needs in a confidential and supportive manner. Ensure that managers and supervisors are trained to handle these conversations with sensitivity.
- Return to work support: When an employee is returning to work after a mental health related absence, provide a supportive transition plan. This could involve gradually reintegrating the employee, providing additional support and considering their workload.
- Promote a balance: Encourage a healthy work life balance by promoting boundaries, discouraging excessive overtime and fostering a culture that values employee wellbeing.
- Monitor and review: Regularly monitor the effectiveness of the mental health adjustments implemented and make adjustments as needed. Seek feedback from employees to ensure the accommodations are meeting their needs.
Remember! Everyone’s needs may vary, and it is essential to approach mental health adjustments on a case-by-case basis. Consulting with a company like ourselves can provide further guidance tailored to your specific workplace and needs.
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