Acas has published new guidance to assist employers in understanding their legal obligations with regards to mental ill health, and promoting positive mental health in the workplace.
The guidance is divided into five sections:
- Understand mental health - the guidance recommends that employers try to identify any causes of mental ill health in the workplace and sets out their legal obligations to staff in respect of this (for example the duty to make reasonable adjustments where an employee's mental ill health amounts to a disability under the Equality Act 2010).
- Commit to improving mental health at work - recommendations include developing an action plan to change attitudes towards mental health in the workplace, as well as creating a mental health policy setting out the organisation's values.
- Identify how the workplace could be improved - the guidance recommends that employers look at the causes of work-related mental ill health and ensure that there are additional resources to support staff in these areas.
- Education - Acas recommends that employers take the time to educate staff and train managers to deal with mental ill health. The guidance recommends creating a workplace in which employees feel comfortable talking about mental health issues.
- Where to go for further support - the guidance contains series of links and contact details of mental health services where employers and employees can seek further support.
For more information, please contact Eleanor Boyd in our Employment Law team on 020 7665 0940.